Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Mini Reviews: The Boss, A Story of Grief and Rapunzel Untangled

The Boss by Abigail Barnette
The gist: Years ago, Sophie had an amazing one-night stand that changed her life. She never expected to see the guy again - so she gets a shock when he turns out to be her new boss. But she's not going to let that little detail get in the way of her fun...
My thoughts: I don't really read this genre, but when I heard this book touted as the anti-50 Shades I wanted to check it out. I enjoyed the author's hilarious and intelligent recaps of that series, so I hoped I'd like her take on a similar story. I haven't read 50 Shades of Grey myself, but from everything I've heard, The Boss seems much, much better. Sophie is strong-willed and independent and a willing, consenting participant in her BDSM relationship. In fact, she is the one who initiates it. And it's not because of some traumatic sexual experience from her past (or his, for that matter) - she just happens to like it. I appreciated that aspect, even if the relationship itself wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I didn't find Neil particularly attractive - he's much, much older than Sophie for one, which was kinda off-putting for me. But hey, each to their own. Points for having an actual plot, too, although I didn't really buy the head of  a major company taking the time to edit a magazine - that's what you hire editors for. Also I didn't quite get why certain things happened towards the end, which was a bit frustrating. But overall a decent read. 3/5

A Story of Grief by Michaela McGuire (Source: Netgalley)
The gist: An exploration of Jill Meagher's disappearance and death and the effect it had on the Australian public, and the city of Melbourne in particular.
My thoughts: This is a very brief but effective account of the murder of Jill Meagher and the way the public grieved over this woman we didn't know. Though as McGuire highlights, while she may have been a stranger, at the same time Jill was someone who many of us recognised - we saw ourselves in her. As McGuire writes: "It could have happened to me, went the uneasy shiver, the near miss, the sentiment, the relief, the guilt, and then the grief. It could have happened to any of us, but it didn't. It happened to Jill Meagher." What I liked best was McGuire's personal observations of how what happened affected her and the people around her. It's quite representative of many people's reactions, I believe. But don't expect a deep exploration of the bigger issues raised by the case - this is, as the title suggests, simply a story of grief. 3/5

Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C Bennett (Source: Netgalley)
The gist: A modern take on the famous fairy tale, here Rapunzel is a teen who has been locked away in a fancy suite of rooms by her mother due to her mysterious illness. She's isolated and lonely until she meets a boy named Fane on, what else, Facebook.
My thoughts: Ugh, this book was so painful. The only reason I finished it was because it was short and I thought I could get through it quickly. The thing is, I didn't at all, because just thinking about reading it annoyed me. I probably should have DNFed it. The writing was terrible, the dialogue was forced, the plot was unbelievable, the romance was groan-worthy and the characters were STUPID and derivative, drawing way too heavily on Tangled, right down to their physical apperances. Like, Fane had a goatee just like Flynn. Even though he's, what, 17? Riiiight. Also he called himself Fabulous Fane or something cringey like that which just made me want to bang my head against the wall. The characters were completely unbelievable and it was all just so boring and ridiculous. So yeah, I really didn't like it. 1/5


  1. Ugh, Rapunzel sounds terrible! Easy choice to skip that after reading your review.

    I thought The Boss was pretty decent, too. Definitely WAY better than 50 Shades, but like you, I wasn't a huge fan of Neil's, either. Also was annoyed by some of the work-related stuff later on. Which I guess isn't the worst thing in the world to get upset by in an erotica book, hah.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Yeah the work stuff towards the end annoyed me too! It wasn't bad but I'm not too familiar with the genre so I don't have a lot to compare it to.
      Definitely give Rapunzel a miss!

  2. I really love Jenny's 50 Shades recap but I don't know if I can bring myself to read The Boss. I'm curious because I want to see if she actually avoids all the issues she identifies in 50 Shades, but meh, that genre is not really my thing.

    Rapunzel sounds TERRIBLE. I'm yet to meet a modern retelling I really like, but surely someone out there must be able to make it work right?

    1. The genre isn't really my thing either. It's a pretty quick read and not bad. I think she avoids a lot of the issues she found in 50 Shades, which is a plus.
      Yeah I don't know that I've found a modern retelling I've liked either - the hunt continues!