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A Reader of Fictions: January 2013

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Audiobook Review: Bossypants


Author: Tina Fey
Narrator: Tina Fey
Duration: 5 hrs, 35 mins
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Source: Library

Description from Goodreads:
Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

Tina Fey's Bossypants pretty much swept every category it was part of in the Audie Awards. As such, I had pretty incredibly high expectations, only made higher by my immense respect for Tina Fey. I love 30 Rock and think she's hilarious. Imagine my disappointment to find that I really feel meh about her audiobook, even though I got to listen to her reading it to me.

Basically, I just didn't find this particularly funny, even though it's clearly intended to be. The funniest part was probably one of the included SNL sketches. I maybe laughed out loud once or twice. Two of the five discs not only didn't made me laugh, but irritated me. I guess it felt a bit like Fey was trying too hard, and the end result wasn't funny.

Bossypants would have benefited from more of a distinct narrative ARC. Despite the title, it's not really about leadership or work, though it pretends to be. It's more like an overview of chapters of Tina Fey's life. When she switches from one topic to another, there is no transition. It's just BOOM we're talking about this now. It's very distracting and uneven. The topics basically break down like this:

Disc 1: Scenes from Tina's Youth
Disc 2: Improv
Disc 3: SNL
Disc 4: 30 Rock
Disc 5: Babies

Learning more about the inner works of the entertainment industry interested me, so the middle of the audiobook was enjoyable enough. That last disc basically made me want to hurl the audiobook out the window, but then I would have had to pay the library for it, and that shit's expensive. I kid you not that the ENTIRE last disc was about babies and breast milk. If you made a list of things that I have no interest in those would be near the top with football and hearing about old people's medical problems.

Keeping this short, rather than being a bigger Tina Fey fan at the end of this audiobook, I'm less interested in her than I was. Tons of people have loved this, though, so who knows. Maybe if you'd not placed Tina Fey on a nerd goddess pedestal it's better.

Rating: 2.5/5

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Cover Snark (42): In Which All of the Covers Look Like Other Covers

Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don't write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I've linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Commenting pro tip: The easiest way to comment on such a long post is to open the post in two windows (really easy if you use Google Reader). Comment in one and scroll the covers in the other. That's actually how I comment on other people's reviews too. I can't remember all my comments by the time I get to the box!

1. Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin #9) - Jennifer Estep
Thoughts: Fantasy bird plus cheesy font plus unfortunate illustrations. I'm sure many people will love this, but I can't get past the O that looks like a sun or a ship's wheel.

 Thoughts: This is really beige. Maybe I'm yawning because I'm tired or maybe this is just that boring. You decide.

3. Endless (King Series #4) - Tawdra Kandle
Thoughts: I'm thinking of this song. Also, pretty much every part of this should be reconsidered: the fonts, the poorly-photoshopped background, the image of the couple...

4. A Very Exclusive Engagement - Andrew Laurence
 Thoughts: Don't you like how the series is "DAUGHTERS OF POWER: THE CAPITAL" with a phallic building (Washington Monument) as its symbol. Nice. Also, I am pretty endlessly amused by the fact that VERY is italicized.

5. Steam - Jessica Fortunato
 Thoughts: I appreciate that they resisted putting a cheesy tag line about love on this cover. I actually do rather like the clockwork heart, but they need to do something to make the font pop more. This is not rocking monochromatic-ness.

6. Crimson Flames (The Crimson Series #2) - Ashley Robertson
 Thoughts: Looks like a shitty video game that will devolve into barely dressed ladies mud wrestling in an arena.

7. The Fallen Stars (The Fallen Child #2) - Stephanie Keyes
 Thoughts: This looks really familiar... Are those the models from Easy? That aside, there is way too much purple mistiness happening, and the blurb does not belong in the middle of the cover. Do you want it to be the focal point? Because it is.

8. Me Since You - Laura Wiess
 Thoughts: Well, this is boring. I wish I could see more of the background, because it's probably more interesting. Oh well, it does at least successfully send the heart-wrenching contemporary vibe.

9. Unbeautifully Loved - Emma Grayson
 Thoughts: I'm pretty sure this is another one from this photo shoot. Guys, stock photos are not your friends, because we look at your book and think of another one.

10. Cutest Couple (Girls Most Likely to...) - Kate Davies
 Thoughts: Girls most likely to...what? Get drunk and make bad decisions? Date assholes? Slay dragons? Don't leave me hanging here! In other news, if they are the cutest couple, this place needs to step it up.

11. The Chocolate Touch (Chocolate #3) - Laura Florand
 Thoughts: Can I have those boots? Awkward kiss is unfortunate, as is the placement of the title box. What's going on back there? PSA: GUYS, THIS BOOK IS SET IN PARIS!!!

12. Forevermore - Cindy Miles
 Thoughts: Ew. I don't think I've ever liked a cover like this. This pose just always looks awkward. Pretty sure they copied this one too, based on the border, the castle and placement of the tag line (though on an opposite side).

13. Rebel Spirits - Lois Ruby
 Thoughts: I'm getting this kind of vibe. Seriously, every cover today makes me think of another cover. I feel like this cover is taking itself too seriously.

14. Pooka in My Pantry (A Monster Haven Story #2) - R.L. Naquin
 Thoughts: Baaaaaaahahahahah. Pooka up in your pantry eating your Easy Mac. Nooooo! What is up with that eye in the bottom right corner?

15. Eternity (The Fury Trilogy #3) - Elizabeth Miles
 Thoughts: Seriously, the only thing good about the first book was the cover, so why would they switch to these boring ass Delirium Trilogy-imitating covers?

 Thoughts: "Not your typical Cinderella story." I didn't realize this was any kind of Cinderella story. This cover's a bit pastel, even for me. I think I actually like the cover on the ARC better, and I wasn't a huge fan of that. Biggest problems? 1) His hair. 2. Her hair. Seriously, they both have the ends of their hair frosted or something. 3. The cotton candy. If they make out with that between them, they're going to have pink sugar fibers on their chests for the rest of the carnival. It's just awkward.

17. Adapting Instincts - S.J. Frost
 Thoughts: Another stock image! What I really don't understand is why anyone would use this for a cover anyway. This isn't sexy, guys. Unless I'm wrong. Does anyone find this pose hot? Anyone.

18. The Redeeming (Age of Faith #3) - Tamara Leigh
 Thoughts: Girl, you've got a little something in your hair.

19. Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy - Michael Knost, ed.
Thoughts:Oooh, shiny. The fact that this robot has eyelashes is really freaking me out.

20. Prophecy of Solstice's End (Oracle of Delphi #3) - Diantha Jones
 Thoughts: Would make fun of her Medusa hair, but based on the series title she might actually BE Medusa. Okay, actually, the hair is still hilarious.

21. Lighting the Way Home - E.M. Lynley & Shira Anthony
 Thoughts: Children have no place on romance covers. It always looks creepy.

22. Scandalous, Book 2 (Scandalous #2) - H.M. Ward
 Thoughts: Bahaha, this author continues to use unattributed blurbs, which means that she wrote them herself. Even if the blurb's from your mom, still better to attribute than not to. That's a little free advice from me to you, H.M. Ward. Some more free advice: give your books titles.

23. The Space Between - Victoria H. Smith 
Thoughts: This is how I stand all the time. I really want to know where this is, because the background is odd. Does it have bearing on the story? Also, the space between what?

24. Inheritance (Adaptation #2) - Malinda Lo
Thoughts: Don't love, don't hate. In the reflection, she looks like she has a Cro Magnon forehead, which is pretty funny.

25. The Only Exception - Magan Vernon
Thoughts: "...she is his Only Exception" What does that even mean? Guess in the comments! The amount of patriotism in this cover is way too much for me.

26. Stained - Cheryl Rainfield
Thoughts: Yikes. The tag line's pretty bad ass: "sometimes you have to be your own hero." I am very scared for this heroine.

27. Castles in the Air - Ilana Waters
Thoughts: Ngl, the shiny font's kind of working for me. The castle and land illustrations are lacking a little something, but this isn't too bad.

28. Freshman: Uncut - Daisy Harris
Thoughts: I'm not even going there.

29. Flame (Fireborn #1) - Mari Arden
Thoughts: Lady, your dress is on fire. STOP, DROP, AND ROLL!

30. Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) - Ilona Andrews
Thoughts: This cover model is so pretty. Just saying. Not a big fan of the photoshopped kitty or the random red symbol in the top left corner.

31. Beverly's Secret - Eden Glenn
Thoughts: Beverly apparently has the same secret as Victoria.

32. The Final Piece - Maggi Myers
Thoughts: The puzzle piece thing is not working out like you want it to. Why are there two pieces? Shouldn't there be all of them with one missing or just one visible? Otherwise, I rather like this.

33. The Final Pleasure - Linda Mooney
Thoughts: Floating in the sky with some shiny sheets is the final pleasure. I guess I'm okay without that. She looks like Katy Perry, right? Now I have to go listen to E.T. BRB.

34. Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog (A Breed Apart #3) - Ronie Kendig
Thoughts: Turner and Hooch have a book series now!

35. The Legend of the Blue Eyes (The Blue Eyes Trilogy #1) - B. Kristin McMichael
 Thoughts: What color were those eyes again?

Cover Reveals:

1. Kissed - Tanya Anne Crosby
Paperback vs. ebook: Wow. They didn't even try back in the day apparently.

2 . Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) - Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston
Take 1 vs. Take 2: Wow, this new one is BORING. The dragon is intriguing though. Are there dragons? Winner: Take 1.

3. Control - Lydia Kang
Leaked Cover vs. Actual Cover: You know what? I'm not really sure which cover I like better. The blood cells are pretty unique, but I also love the color blue and shiny things. I deem both of these perfectly acceptable. Winner: Lydia Kang.

4. The Originals - Cat Patrick
Take 1 vs. Take 2: Wow, I'd forgotten how bad the first one was. This is a definite improvement. Winner: Take 2. I like when they actually make the cover better.

5. The New Hunger (Warm Bodies #0.5) - Isaac Marion
Take 1 vs. Take 2: Woo, another one has gotten better. This makes it less obviously the Battle Royale cover. I like how the buildings make a mouth full of teeth. Menacing! Winner: Take 2.

6. The Shining Girls - Lauren Beukes
Take 1 vs. Take 2 vs Special Edition: I actually like all of these covers in really different ways. The Special Edition is seriously terrifying to me, though. From what I can tell this is a horror story, so that fits. Winner: Lauren Beukes, who gets only awesome covers.

7. The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld #1) - Gena Showalter
Original vs. Redesign: Much as I'm not a fan of shirtless dude covers, I feel like the butterfly alone is kind of boring. Winner: Original, grudgingly.

8. The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld #2) - Gena Showalter
Original vs. Redesign:Tag line on the left: "He is ultimate darkness....and all consuming desire..." *snorts* Winner: Redesign.

9. The Darkest Pleasure (Lords of the Underworld #3) - Gena Showalter
Original vs. Redesign: Oh, that's a sickening shade of green they put on that guy. He looks like the Lizard King. Winner: Redesign.

10. The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld #4) - Gena Showalter
Original vs. Redesign: Yikes, the pink and smoke is not working for me at all, so I'll go with butterfly man wearing Mardi Gras beads. Sure. Winner: Original.

11. While He Was Away - Karen Schreck
Original vs. Special Edition: I do not like either of these, and they express perfectly that I would not like this book one bit. I feel like the special edition is trying to lure in fans of the Abbi Glines books. I'm also really wondering if they edited out his nipples... Winner: Original, because I really doubt this is risque and sexy like the new cover suggests.

12. Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies #2) - Rhiannon Frater
Trade Paperback vs. Mass Market Paperback: This comes as no surprise, because I've been a fan of the trade paperback covers all along. I like the look of them, and the mass markets are a little too generic for me. Plus, I really like the color scheme on this trade paperback. Just depends on your taste. Winner: Trade paperback.

 WTF of the Week:

1. Circles Divided - Victoria Adams
 Thoughts: Don't you just love when they photoshop four completely unrelated pictures into different corners of a cover? Yeah, me neither.

2. Opposites - T. M. Smith
Thoughts: I had a My Little Pony with hair just like hers! We're hitting pretty much every bad indie cover element here: Weird facial expressions, obviously fake tattoos, lame tattoos, weird eyes, sparkles, hard to read title font...

3. A Specials Love - Jennifer Blaney
Thoughts: I am not convinced these people know what books are, because this is obviously a CD cover. A grammatically incorrect CD cover. Nice.

Outstanding Cover of the Week:
Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy by Michael Knost, ed.

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