Lenni Reviews: “Serena’s Plight” by Carol Madison

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for 18+.

In this book, we have Serena Loomis, poor and facing high school graduation with little options. An ex-boyfriend comes to her with an offer to not only help him pay for his education, but put some money in her pockets as well: sleep with his classmates for money.

Strap in, folks. This is gonna be long and angry.

Serena as a character is hard for me to identify with. I just can’t get behind the “I NEED to  a relationship but I hate myself” attitude. At about 3% into the book, I blatantly ripped off IHE and had a Fuck This Book moment.

Let me explain.

Her ex; Sam, out of nowhere decides to dump her then doesn’t speak to her for years. Suddenly, he asks to drive her home because he needs to talk to her about something. During the ride, he talks all about how he is super smart and has this amazing sports scholarship but she’s poor, stupid, but pretty and good at one thing. Sex.

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(I needed sketches for these reactions…)

So, as sex with her was so fucking amazing; she should come with him when he goes to college…

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“Wait, he’s not seriously going to…”

And fuck his classmates for money so he can take 20% off the top to help him pay for what the scholarship won’t cover.

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(In my shock, I nearly dropped my Kindle)

Instead of cursing him out, as she rightfully should, she asks him what’s so great about her in bed that he thinks she could sell herself and make money…

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I don’t have a scanner so you’re gonna just have to deal with the image quality…

He goes into lovely detail how her technique was and such then drops the lovely gem of it was so good because she looked like she was enjoying it.

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My exact thought at the time: “If this scene doesn’t end with him getting punched in the face…”

Unfortunately, she didn’t beat the tar out of him, she just cries and leaves. Then when she’s going to bed, she starts to think about what he said and how he may have a point.

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“Wat…”

And that since she’s an only child of a divorced alcoholic who gets shitty grades; he is absolutely right about how shitty her life would be otherwise, goes to Sam the next day, and proceeds to hammer out the details of how this would work… WHICH HE HAD ALREADY FIGURED OUT EVEN DOWN TO THE CENT.

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“Really, dude?”

Then he handpicks the guys, sets up her schedule, and even plans investment options for her so after he graduates, she won’t have to do it anymore.

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“Let’s teach women who read this that if they don’t have a marketable skill like Sam’s amazing wrestling and (heaven forbid) enjoy sex, they should be prostitutes so their ex can go to school!”/sarcasm

She listens to his entire plan and actually agrees with it. She packs her shit to follow him… After being told “You’re a fucking loser with no money and no future. The best you can ever hope for is a minimum wage job in this tiny town; eventually ending up like your mother. Since I actually have a future, you should sell your body FOR ME since that’s all you’ve got that’s worth something.”

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Bloody fucking hell…

That was 3% in… I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to quit a book that fast. Somehow, I trudged through all 266 pages of this thing through meeting all her clients (who she calls “dates”) and the book became slightly more bearable. I don’t need to hear every time she pees and the sex scenes became repetitive but hey, that’s the nature of what was set up here. I was actually starting to sympathize with Serena, as she genuinely seemed to want to help the guys she was sleeping with. She talks to them, encourages them, and even teaches them on some occasions while learning some things from them as well… Only to hit another line that just made me want to throw right the hell up:

79% in: “but it was a seductive kind of rape instead of a violent one.”

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ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!

Look, I don’t begrudge any person having those kind of fantasies. Not my cup of tea but as long as you don’t hurt someone, what people do in their smexy times is none of my damn business. BUT THAT IS THE MOST DISGUSTING FUCKING LINE IN THIS BOOK. Do I even need to explain why this is wrong, dangerous, and twisted? Do you understand why I actually needed to sketch out my reactions so some of the crap in this book?

I concluded this book absolutely speechless at what I had read and the unmitigated GALL to end it on a cliffhanger as if anyone would want to continue this bullshit. Other than the “hooker with a heart of gold” trope being done to death, this book overall was like getting your first “date” over with; you disconnect your brain and hold on until it’s over. The book may be competently written enough to be called a novel but it’s twisted morals left me more disturbed than entertained. 2 out of 5 for the parts that didn’t make me physically ill.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ten Count” volume 2 by Rihito Takarai

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*This volume was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is intended for 18+.

*This review is cross-posted at Otakus and Geeks.

Even after agreeing to keep his distance, Kurose still has feelings for Shirotani. Shirotani however, has virtually shut down after Kurose insisted on not seeing him anymore. With the help of his co-worker, Mikami, Shirotani finally agrees to meet up with Kurose; who confesses he wanted to stay away because it was not appropriate for a counselor to be in love with his patient. Not only that but Kurose wants to touch Shirotani; whose condition makes him sick at the thought of being contaminated. Shirotani finds that while his germaphobia still affects him, Kurose’s touch also makes him excited.

And WHOA does it ever make him excited! Remember in the last review when I said there was no smut but a good build with the characters? This volume earns its M rating. Kurose and Shirotani go from tentative interaction to touching naughty bits. But as sensual as they get, there is still something traumatic in Shirotani’s past that’s only being hinted at in quick flashbacks. Shirotani “endures” very intimate touches but something simple like Kurose ruffling his hair sets him off. We’ll have to wait to find out what happened but I give this volume a 4 out of 5.

This volume will be released November 8th, 2016.

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September Loot Crate: Speed

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  • Spinning wheel pin
  • Batman Batwing keychain
  • Arrow hood ornament
  • Gone in 60 Seconds car
  • Battlestar Galactica Cylon Raider
  • Stark Industries Motor Racing t-shirt

I am loving the design of that shirt. It’s very cool. I find it interesting they chose to go with the Batwing and a Gone in 60 Seconds car instead of the Batmobile. I can see how that would be an obvious choice and going with a different fandom in this case was a good idea.

I’m nervous about actually using the hood ornament because people can be assholes and someone may steal it. Since I’m working on cleaning out my office and getting nice shelves, I can display it with the Cylon ship and the various other figures I’ve gotten from these crates.

This crate fit the theme well and I’m happy with the contents! I think getting these was a great idea.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Thirteenth Man” by J.L. Doty

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*This review is cross-posted at Otakus and Geeks.

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

When Charlie Cass – the unacknowledged son of a duke – is freed from a POW camp, he returns to find a kingdom on the cusp of war. The dukes are plotting against one another and the king and now with the presumed dead Charlie back in the picture, they fear he will interfere with their plans. But Charlie refuses to go down without a fight.

I’m not usually a fan of military sci-fi but I honestly have to say this was the characters that kept me interested in this book. Charlie is a compelling, sensible character who is smart enough to surround himself with competent, loyal, and colorful people. Especially the prostitutes. They made me laugh. The techno jargon and political dancing were a little much but I just let it wash over me until the cool stuff started happening again. All that posturing and double meaning give me a headache. It’s why I could never be a politician…

As this book was filled with all these thrilling space battles and has a satisfying conclusion to the main conflict, I felt the epilogue deflated everything; especially after such a climactic ending. I honestly can’t think of another way to mend all those plot threads together without adding a few hundred pages to the book so I’ll let the exposition dump slide. For unexpectedly entertaining me despite being out of my usual tastes, I give this a 3.7 out of 5.

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Finally Watched It: “Cube Zero”

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Where the last one has this intelligence to it, this one went from cerebral to gore fest right away. I know it’s a prequel but it was not as fun as the first two. I got a heavy “we’re all in the matrix” vibe or like with the Umbrella Corporation where everyone works for them whether they know it or not. The way this movie tied into the first was smart (no gonna spoil it) but on the whole, it leaves much to be desired. And it certainty had a lot to live up to considering how much I liked the first two.

Usually it’s the third movie where a series needs to stop and this is no exception. I wasn’t as entertained or thrilled as the previous ones and I’m glad they stopped here.

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I’m in a wiki?

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Apparently there is such a thing called SuccuWiki, and I’m indexed on it:

wiki

The entry is here.

This is kinda awesome. I wish the other books were on there and I have no idea how popular this site is but, wow!

I guess randomly Googling yourself pays off!

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Lenni Reviews: “Ajin: Demi-Human” vol 7 by Gamon Sakurai

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Trying to protect the remaining targets on Sato’s list, Kei and Ko hold up in a well fortified building to position themselves to battle while Sato and his minions invade the building and pick off guards like they’re fish in a barrel.

Ok, brain jarring cliffhanger aside, how the fuck did Kaito get there!? What bugs me the most about it is the very likely possibility the action will be halted later to explain how he got there! And the action really ramps up here so an interrupting back story chapter will really kill the flow.

Watching the demi-humans use their powers creatively in battle is both fascinating and horrible. They may be immortal but they still feel pain. Getting your brains blown out over and over is a nightmare. I expect to see more psycho demi-humans in this series later.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ajin: Demi-Human” vol 6 by Gamon Sakurai

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Kei and Ko are now training with Izumi, Dr. Ogura, and Tosagi so they can get ready to battle Sato. We learn some back story on Izumi and finally find out what happened to Kaito – the boy who helped Kei escape several volumes ago. Turns out Kaito got sent to jail for his good deed and has an arrangement  (you can’t say friendship) with fellow inmate and demi-human, Kotobuki.

Despite Kei’s completely understandable lack of faith in anyone, it was refreshing to not only see Kaito again, but see him care about others. He’s not posturing about it or long winded speeches; in fact, if someone says that attitude pisses them off, Kaito just says “Yup.” and moves on. He is how he is and that’s it. I hope this dark and demented world doesn’t kill that feeling. I don’t care if they prove him right or wrong – I hope they don’t and retain moral ambiguity – I just don’t want Kaito’s positive attitude broken.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ajin: Demi-Human” vol 5 Gamon Sakurai

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After Sato’s horrific terrorist attack, it’s all out war between the humans and demi-humans. Now that the world sees demi-humans as violent minsters, Kei is forced from his safe haven and back into the fray.

Despite how much of an asshole Kei is, I can’t fault him for doing whatever it took to keep from being maimed, tested on, or hunted. Thanks to Sato, nobody believes a demi-human is anything other than a monster out to kill everyone. So, Kei teams up with Ko; the guy he locked in a truck last volume, to find allies to fight Sato and his terrorist group.

This volume starts giving us a few answers but still leaves you wanting more. I’m looking forward to see how Kei will develop as things get worse.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Deadbringer” by E. M. Markoff

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*This review has been cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

Kira Vidal is a Deadbringer, possessing the ability to summon souls and raise the dead. Likely the last of his kind, this fifteen year old boy hides his abilities while living with his uncle. In order to live in peace, he has to keep out of reach of the Ascendancy and their elite soldiers called the Sanctifiers; who are charged with the mission of killing all Deadbringers. When a stranger shows up at their door asking for help, Kira’s secret is exposed and he must protect his uncle while learning the truth behind his powers.

The world-building done in this novel is accomplished by dumping you in and wishing you luck yet at the same time it’s immersive enough for you to get lost in it. There are a lot of interesting and distinct characters and while some may fall into typical fantasy tropes (like the mysterious counsel of evil hidden in shadow, climactic battle at a wall with ground troops, horned people, etc…), they all managed to get into my head clearly so I stayed interested throughout the entire book. At times the conversations lagged or got bogged down in WAY more complicated words than necessary; the narrative meandered off on occasion but once the story centered on Kira and his journey, this novel shined. Even with the cliffhanger ending (Arrgh! Where’s the next one!!!), I ended this book feeling like I had a good time. As a fan of dark fantasy, I give this story a 3.5 out of 5.

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