Posts Tagged ‘so bad it’s bad’

15th September
2011
written by Steph

As book bloggers, we spend a lot of time talking about all the wonderful ways that the blogosphere has broadened our reading horizons. I can’t tell you the number of wonderful books I have discovered courtesy of fellow bloggers and their rave reviews. BUT. What happens when you pick up a book on a blogger’s recommendation only to find that it’s kind of a stinker? What then? It’s bad enough in real life when someone tells you you’ve gotta read a book and then you don’t care for it, but somehow when this happens in the book blogging world, it seems worse, because you’re publicizing how much you didn’t like the book and are thereby accusing the other blogger of bad taste. So it is with trepidation that I write this review (and maybe that is part of why I’ve been holding off on writing it?)… because The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen, being the first in the Rizolli & Isles series, was a book I never would have picked up on my own, but did so due to a glowing review by a fellow book blogger. Said blogger talked about how the R&I books had become her favorite series and she was just plowing through them because she couldn’t help herself but to read them as fast as was humanly possible. I don’t tend to read a lot of series, and crime thrillers are few and far between on my reading roster, but this blogger was just so effusive that I became curious and decided to give the first book in the series a shot. (more…)
7th October
2010
written by Steph

I don't know what an "Anthony Award" is, but I don't think I want one...

Regular readers know that I don’t shy away from writing negative reviews here at S&TI! In fact, some might argue that I actually revel in lampooning the occasional deserving book. I admit that sometimes it’s just a whole lot more fun (and a lot easier) to snark on a book than it is to sing its praises. But I try to only do this if I think a book really deserves it. Dead Until Dark (aka “the first Sookie Stackhouse book”) definitely deserves it. I realize that most of the time when I rag on a book and call it “bad”, I generally talk about how I found the writing uninspiring and/or not very good. But I also realize that my high prose standards are not always appropriate – not ever book strives to read like poetry or transmute words into shimmering gold, and that’s ok. It's not fair for me to lambaste a book for not achieving something it didn’t set out to do. So I will skip my usual diatribe of “this book was not written well” and try to focus on the other things Dead Until Dark does aim to do, and perhaps does not succeed in doing. (more…)
15th July
2010
written by Steph

Well, she got the malice part right at least...

From a great literary high to a nightmare of a novel, such is the bumpy road of a reader’s journey. When I was offered a review copy of international publishing sensation Rebecca James’s debut novel, Beautiful Malice, I was intrigued. This was the woman who had sprung from the wilds of Australia and was apparently poised to dethrone the juggernaut that is Stephenie Meyer. Seemed like fighting words to me, so I decided to see what James had on offer. At 17, Katherine Patterson has experienced more devastation and misery than your typical teen. Haunted by the events that destroyed her family, Katherine believes happiness is beyond her reach. She enrolls in a new high school, in a new city far from her childhood home, and even changes her last name, all in the hopes of one last chance at anonymity. Katherine is content to blend into the background and keep to herself, but when popular Alice Parrie takes an interest in her, Katherine finds she can’t resist her vibrant and alluring offer of friendship.  Together, the two charge headfirst into an exhilarating world of hedonism and excitement. Caught up in the rush of it all, Katherine begins to open up to Alice, never guessing that Alice might have some secrets of her own, secrets that are far more sinister and deadly than anything Katherine could imagine. (more…)
24th January
2010
written by Steph
Somewhat of a slow week for us here at Steph & Tony Investigate, but that didn't stop us from prattling on about the 3.5 movies we watched.  Why 3.5?  Well, you'll have to listen to find out! This week we watched: Highlights include:
  • Is Jean Claude Van Damme secretly cool?  We discuss this while talking about JCVD.
  • Steph gets passionate about the portrayal of women in guy movies while discussing The Hangover!
  • Is Ink the worst movie ever?  Probably not.  But it might be.
  • We discuss whether Easy Virtue was rented because of Jessica Biel or Colin Firth. (Hint: It wasn't because of Jessica Biel...)

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17th September
2009
written by Steph
Don't be surprised if Grossman gets his butt sued by Rowling, Tolkien, or Lewis (yes, the dead might rise from the grave to do so!)!

Don't be surprised if Grossman gets his butt sued by Rowling, Tolkien, or Lewis (yes, the dead might rise from the grave to do so!)!

Steph's Take (That's right, you get a double-header, folks!  Also, sorry this is a long one; I had a lot of feelings...): When it comes to publicizing books, you need only say one of two names in order for me to be guaranteed to want to read your book.  The first is Jane Austen.  This is how I came to buy such books as No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym (who has been called the Jane Austen of her day), Beginner’s Greek by James Collins (the book evoked a sense of Jane Austen), The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (self-explanatory… I hope), and Jane and the Upleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery (also self-explanatory, but perhaps less easy to justify).  The other name?  Harry Potter.  That is how I came to purchase Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (which if it were not for Tony, would still be classified as “unread”), and more recently, to borrow The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I read the first two chapters of the book, before showing it to Tony.  He said that it seemed like a book he would probably enjoy reading, so he read the first two chapters, and then we decided to read it aloud to one another so that we could experience it together.  It was a fun experience to share Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book together on the way back from our honeymoon, so we thought it might be fun to do it again. (more…)
2nd March
2009
written by Tony
I could put a caption here, but what would I say? How about: "what does the title have to do with anything?"

I could put a caption here, but what would I say? How about: "what does the title have to do with anything?"

First off, let me state that we like Michael Cera, especially in Arrested Development. I think that was the biggest reason we decided to watch this movie (even though he claims to be on the fence about a possible AD movie, yet got right on board for this particular film. Little bastard). Secondly, I have nearly all of the music that they play throughout this movie and I am suddenly afraid that fact makes me a douchebag, because it certainly didn't do this movie any favors. Which is sad, because I thought I was pretty cool, "hip" even. To say this movie isn't any good would be doing it a disservice. It was terrible, dysfunctional, and generally misguided. I'm quite sure this wasn't written by anyone in the demographic it so obviously panders to (high schoolers) and I'm also quite sure it wasn't written by anyone who has been a teenager in a long time. In fact, I can't quite tell what the point of this movie is, why it exists, to be blunt. (more…)
31st December
2008
written by Tony
Slightly better than a pencil in the eye.

Slightly better than a pencil in the eye.

Jesus. I like to think that I'm a pretty good boyfriend, but I had to throw in the towel about 45 minutes into this steaming turd of a movie. Fortunately, Steph being a normal person, the feeling was mutual. This movie is an embarrassment, for everyone, not just those who were tricked into watching it. I know for a fact that the only reason Steph got this movie was Colin Firth, which is fine. I've come to terms with the fact that she would leave me for him, cursing my lack of an English accent. Sweet, sweet Colin aside, this movie was terrible. Steph and I agreed that this is the work of alcohol. Let me explain. You see, Meryl Streep, Mrs. Weasley (that's who she is, and who she should stay) and Cybill Shepherd's friend all got together one night, drank a bunch of dirty martinis and sang along to ABBA. Then, in the midst of their middle-aged reverie, one of them (or possibly all three) decided to make a movie where they act like fools for two fucking hours.Which is fine, if you're a drunk 50 year old woman who wants to lose two hours of your life that you can never get back. Never. (more…)
5th December
2008
written by Steph
The Accidental

Yikes. There are evidently people out there who really liked this book. Those people are not me. These are people who probably love Virginia Woolf novels and Jackson Pollack paintings. (more…)
4th December
2008
written by Steph
We’ve been having a hard time sitting down and actually watching any of our Netflix rentals over the past month, so Tony and I vowed that we would sit down and at least attempt to watch one of the three movies that have been collecting dust in our apartment. To give you some perspective, we’ve had one of these movies since the last week of October… In the end, we picked Big Trouble, because at 1 hr and 20 minutes, it was the shortest of our options (during the week, I have a real problem watching anything that goes on for more than an hour). That being said, I think our general consensus was that Big Trouble goes on for about 1 hr and 20 minutes too long. (more…)