Frostbitten by Charlotte Stein

A quick erotica read for those who like strong female leads and are partial to vampires and threesomes.

Vampire erotica; is it as terrible as it sounds? Yes and no.

2/5 stars.
ebook, 110 pages.
Read Oct 28, 2016.

A big thanks to Netgalley for allowing me an ARC edition of this book to review. I picked this book as I had previously read Control by the same author and I thought that was a pretty killer piece of erotica. For the record, what I define as a good piece of erotica is one that is decently written and contains more sex than romance. Because let’s be honest, if I wanted something romantic, I’d read romance. I read erotica because I want to read about some steamy sex.

Cora is a nurse who has the hots for her co-worker Zeke. He makes her uncomfortable. To the point where she isn’t sure she loves being around him or can’t stand it because she feels she is constantly embarrassing herself. However, things are taken to a whole other level when at the Christmas party the whole building explodes. Cora finds herself remarkably alive and captive by Zeke and his very cold and serious friend Merrick. She also seems to have an insatiable thirst for blood and desire for her two gorgeous captors.

I found this brief novel very disappointing. The writing felt rushed and poorly composed and did not compare to the previous book I had read by this author.On top of that I found the sex scenes rushed and lacking their desired effect, which is unfortunate as the context had the potential to be really steamy. I mean, come on, two guys and one woman? Heck yeah! Sadly, this book failed to deliver.

The one thing I was sure I would not like was the vampire theme but I actually feel that this is the one thing the author did well. The theme wasn’t too over the top and tastefully done. However, the romance at the end was icky. Just too cheesy for me. I do, however, appreciate how the author makes her female characters strong and independent which, is probably what I enjoyed so much about Control.

Overall I would recommend this book for those looking for a quick erotica read with a strong female read and are partial to vampires and threesomes.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

An important classic, but it doesn’t mean I have to like.

I think Herman Melville would have married a freaking whale if that had been possible. Obsessed a bit? Well this book is about obsession so it suits. An important classic, but it doesn’t mean I have to like.

2/5 stars.
ebook, 684 pages.
Read from June 10 to July 10, 2016.

Alright, this post is late. I’ll admit it. I haven’t quite been able to get back into the swing of things since coming back from a trip home and starting work again. Not much of an excuse but it is what it is.

Man, where to start with this book. I had such high hopes for it and the first couple of chapters I was really excited. However, Melville kept diverting off the main story line and obsessively talked about the intricacies of whales. I wanted to care, but I just couldn’t.

Ishmael is a sailor who fancies a shot a whaling and adventure. He travels over to the Massachusetts and stays in a whaler’s inn in hopes of getting in with a crew. However the inn is short on space and so he must share a bed with a veteran whaler and native named Queequeg. While initially repulsed by the native’s pagan ways and body tattoos, the two men strike up an uncanny friendship. They both aboard the Pequod with the mysterious captain Ahab. Ahab is missing a leg, to which the men and his crew quickly learn was caused by a sperm whale with a white hump. Ahab is obsessed with the whale and is set on revenge. On this journey, men are saved from near death experiences, while some go mad, but the adventure all comes to its climax with the hunt of the infamous white whale.

The best part about this book was the relationship that Ishmael and Queequeg had. The first few chapters about their meeting had me laughing out loud and I thought that I was going to be in for a great read. Sadly, that majority of the book is full of long and distracting chapters about minute details about whales and whale hunting and I felt like I barely got to know these two main characters. Don’t get me wrong, I know why Melville did this, it was because the public knew practically nothing about whales/whale hunting at this time so all of the information he included with his story would have been absolutely riveting for its readers at the time of its first publication. This book also captures a short piece of history of when much of our fuel came from whale blubber. That is why this book is important. But just because it’s important doesn’t mean I have to like it.

All I wanted to read about was what the characters were doing. Every time a chapter about whale trivia came up I felt my eyes glaze over and I quickly forgot where I was in the book and what was going. However, an important theme in this book is obsession so it suits that Melville is just as mad about whales as Ahab. The ending was pretty epic, I will admit that but I’m not sure it was worth the few hundred pages I had to read to get to it.

Overall I felt I would have had more enjoyment reading an abridged version of this book (and I never say that). The writing is good and the plot promises much, but its hard to get past the long essays in between. I would still recommend this book to anyone who loves classics and especially for those who love whales are interested in the history of whale hunting.

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Written from a generation and stand-point I will likely not understand, “On The Road” is a puzzling classic.

Written from a generation and stand-point I will likely not understand, On The Road is a puzzling classic.

2/5 stars.
Hardcover, 307 pages.
Read from June 13 to 16, 2016.

Really, why is it a classic at all? It is the question I had while dragging myself through this monotonous book.I had heard so much about this book without really knowing what it was about and was looking forward to finally reading it. What a disappointment. It wasn’t until I finished the book that I tried to understand from a different perspective. It didn’t make me like the book any more but at least I could almost see where it was coming from.

This book chronicles Jack Kerouac’s (Sal Paradise) time on the road with his new friend Neil Cassidy (Dean Moriarty). Sal is fascinated with Dean’s reckless-abandon personality and admires him. Dean is an ex-con and notorious womanizer who ends up having 4 wives and three children while Sal is trying to be an intellect and finish a book. So this unlikely duo hitchhike, drink and fuck their way through America where in the end Sal ends up being abandoned in Mexico as Dean begins to lose his mind.

I wish I could say that there was more to the plot than that but their isn’t really. The characters talk about Jazz music and America, and in the end Sal ends up reflecting a lot about Dean and his time with him. It’s a peculiar friendship that isn’t built on anything other than the men’s desire to do whatever the fuck they want, and the did.

This book is considered one of the pinnacles of beat generation writing, in which individuals dismissed notions of conventional society and valued self-expression. However, this is defintitely a “man’s book” and perhaps the beat movement was specifically about men too, as the men in this book pretty much got away with whatever they wanted to do leaving the women they wooed behind them in the dust and often with children. I’m pretty sure this book was never actually meant for female readers at all actually. I mean, you get tired of the way Sal and Dean used and disposed of women. Even Dean’s perpetual lover, Marylou, who in a way is living the beat lifestyle, is frowned upon for her promiscuous ways and is disposed of by both men as they really only want sex from her.

Having said this, we’re reading this novel from a different era. I’m not saying that the behaviors of the characters are worth condoning but it’s important to understand that this book is a small reflection of a point in time in which we can longer relate. The book is supposed to be about freedom, independence and doing your own thing and in it’s time, it is meant to be inspirational. I can see how throwing caution to the wind and hitchhiking across America in search of nothing other than freedom can be inspirational, it’s the generational context of it that I struggle with. That, and I didn’t find Kerouac’s writing to be all that inspiring. It’s extremely dry and there really isn’t a pinnacle climax to the novel. I found it down right boring, to be honest, and it wasn’t until I took a step back after reading it that I came to find any appreciation for it.

Overall, I am glad that I came to some sort of understanding with this novel. Would I recommend it? No, not really. I suppose you could attempt to read this novel with a base understanding of the time frame and just focus on the idea of freedom and you may find enjoyment out of it. Actually, this book might appeal to teenage boys because the men in this book behave like ones. If you want to read something from the beat generation then read Alan Ginsberg as his writing is by far more prolific, in my opinion. I am thankful this read is now over and done with.