Caitlin's Junk

I just read everything
Endangered Species: Book 1 - Vaulte Kamish --I received a copy of this book through a giveaway on GoodReads--

To sum this book up in one sentence: Rather silly, kind of rough around the edges, but quite enjoyable.

"Diary of an Eco-Warrior" is written from the perspective of Trevor, a reporter who winds up on a ghost writing assignment, following Chuck Collins, a sort of Steve Irwin-esque animal lover. The characters in this book are vibrant when they're there, but at other times completely blank, sort of like a colouring book that's only have done. Sometimes, it's really bright and fun, other times it's just sort of blank. The book gets off to a relatively slow start, following Trevor around his honestly rather bland London life, before rocketing off into the sky as he goes off adventuring with Chuck. Starting with giant killer birds in the Amazon to killer goats in Tibet, to an underwater opossum that kills people by looking at it, this book bizarrely enough, ends with a cooking competition in North Korea. The manic plot of this book fits with how it feels as well. It's kind of all over the place, from psycho cats to a group of indigenous people who believe Chuck is the Six Million Dollar Man, thanks to his prosthetic leg, to a man eating his own fingers after eating bad truffles.

While this book is all over the place, it is by no means unenjoyable. The silly adventures of a our motley crew of characters are funny, and the sheer randomness of the plot is also quite fun. The one thing that sticks out to me is that this book is also supposed to raise awareness of the issues facing endangered species, and I just didn't get that vibe from this book. The plot is to jocular, and the animals so silly, it doesn't seem like anyone reading it would become actually interested in the plight of real animals just from this book, but hey, at least the tried. So, like I said in the beginning, it's silly, random fun, and if you're looking for that in a nice, easy to read package, then "Diary of an Eco-Warrior" might be for you.
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James Ugh, ugh, ugh. I got this book on the assumption that it was terrible, but a funny kind of terrible. Instead, it was just all bad, all the time, to the degree where it is worrying, to quote Yahtzee Croshaw. So there's Anastasia Steele, a simpering simper-er. There Christian Grey, the cold, detached, asshole. Together they embark on the relationship of the century. The WORST relationship, that is. Let me get this out of the way. This is not proper Dom/sub conduct. This is abuse, plain and simple. I know the original story this was written off was also an abusive relationship, but that is no excuse.

There are at least three things wrong with this story, (more like a 1000) but I'll talk about 3.

1. The writing. This story is horribly written, and the characters are complete non-entities. I feel like I know my shoes better than these characters after 500 pages. It's just unengaging, boring, and nearly slipped me into a coma.

2. The sex. The sex in this book was entirely unerotic in ever way. I personally can write better erotica than this. First of all, she needs to find more euphemisms for genitalia. She uses "his/my sex" exclusively through the book, and it just sounds awful. Also, the during sex dialogue is hilariously bad. Anastasia uses "Arghh!" as her noise. This made me laugh, because generally 'argh' is used in situations like "Caitlin, you have a 2000 page paper due tomorrow", or "Caitlin, your senile grandma who forgets to wear clothing is coming on Saturday". In addition, she always says, "oh... please" Just please is fine. The 'Oh' makes it sound like a bunch of gossiping school girls "She's dating Derek? Oh, puh-leeze!"

3. The fanfiction thing. If anyone doesn't know, this was originally a Twilight fanfiction called "Master of the Universe" (He-Man, anyone?) Should this have been published? Not in my opinion. Don't get me wrong. I love fanfiction. I once read a fanfiction that had me in tears, with a dull ache in my heart. I myself write fanfiction, and in my humble opinion, this is PWP, or "porn without plot/point" Just loosely interconnected sex stories. I understand the want for this, but the lack of any real concrete plot makes this seem like this was written by a horny 15 year old.

All in all, awful. Just awful. I was hoping this would be a second strike of the "My Immortal" hilar-a-bad lightning. But Fifty Shades of Grey? bure like Fifty Shade of puke coloured wallpaper.
Azumanga Daioh: The Omnibus - Kiyohiko Azuma Someone recently asked a group I'm in for anime recommendation. I replied, "If you haven't seen Azumanga Daioh, you haven't lived." The same applies to the manga, if not more so. Azumanga Daioh, or "AzuD" as my friend and I referred to it, is the story of a group of high school friends, told almost entirely in 4koma, or 4 panel comic strips. Many people's reactions to things like "manga about high school girls" would be a sigh, or a comment like "What super powers do they have?", but the girls of
Azumanga Daioh are different. They are completely normal. As someone who was once a high school girl, I find this is actually the closest anything comes to representing me and my friends. Azumanga Daioh is a comedy series, and there are jokes that still make me laugh every time, despite having read them 10+ times. I feel like these girls are my friends as well, and Azumanga Daioh is just a great series all around. Even if you aren't into manga, I would still whole-heartedly recommend Azumanga Daioh to anyone. A funny, cute, light read, Azumanga Daioh is probably my favourite manga of all time.
The Christopher Killer - Alane Ferguson While reading this book, I kept having an odd feeling of deja vu, and it wasn't due to the fact that I read it once before, years ago. It was only after I finished that I realized what it was caused by, and that is that this book reads like a Nancy Drew book. Don't get me wrong, I love Nancy Drew, and still have a shelf full of the books, but 'The Christopher Killer' fits the mold perfectly. Cast of characters are introduced, all of them having something suspicious about them, spunky female teen follows all leads, occasionally getting off track, finds super secret clue, confronts the killer, gets in danger, but in the end, the mystery is solved and Nancy- I mean, Cameron is lauded for her genius. Like I said, I love Nancy Drew, and there are certainly worse things to take a page from, but this book isn't a totally new and spectacular thing. The one thing that sets this book apart is its forensics, and provides the nice, gory details of forensics that are honestly quite interesting. One last thing, is that one of the things the killer uses is not explained totally well. Without venturing in spoiler territory, I know what it is because I work with horses, and I feel like without the background knowledge of what it is, it can seem a bit like a macguffin- the plot purpose fits everything device. This was still a good read, and if you're looking for a good teen mystery that's not full of simpering brats, The Christopher Killer is a good choice.
The One Dollar Horse - Lauren St. John A cute little read. The One Dollar Horse chronicles the life of Casey Blue, whose father once stole some money, and now can't find a job for anything. Casey rides at an inner city stable in East London, doing your usual teen obsessed with horses thing, ie, mucking out stalls all day for the chance to trot around on an old nag for 15 minutes. One day, when walking with her father, they find the titular horse, being sent to a knacker's yard. They proceed to buy the horse for one American dollar, and thus begins a pretty standard horse adventure. Outcast girl and crazy horse rise up the ranks, and encounter various common teen horsey book drama. "Oh no! My hero is actually a jerk!" "Oh no! I'm off EastEnders and riding at this fancy three day event!" "Oh no! Boy I like is walking around with other girls!", ad infinitum. Despite this, it's still a good read. The plot races insanely fast, and the occasional jump in time can make it confusing at times. All in all, a good read, great for the horse crazy reader, who can easily find much to compare with Casey, and her dream of being the youngest rider to win Badminton.
No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species - I'm going to start off my first real review for this site with a short story.

My mom and I were at the Toronto Zoo the other day, and in their "Caves and Burrows of Africa" house, there's a sign above a fish tank proclaiming "EXTINCTION IS FOREVER". Upon seeing this, a woman said "They don't have to be so dramatic about it."


Extinction is forever. End of. We might be getting close to resurrecting long gone species like, the mammoth, or closer deaths, like the Tasmanian Tiger, but, what are we going to do with them? We can't put them back in the wild, so they'd pretty much be novelties. Richard Ellis's book documents a variety of extinction events, and non-events. He begins with a description of what extinction is. Sort of. As you'll learn, it's kind of a loose term, and no one quite agrees on it. From there, we go on a tour of the major extinctions, the dinosaurs, the Pleistocene extinctions (That's the one with the mammoths and sabre-tooths and all the other "ice age" animals), etc. Then we get into the big point and cause of all of the rest, and probably the Pleistocene one too, and that is our good friend, enemy and lover, Homo sapiens sapiens. If there was a thesis for the latter half of this book, it would be just 4 words: "It's all our fault." This book can be rather depressing in that aspect, pointing the finger squarely at ourselves as read about species, gone from the Earth, never to be seen again from our own greed, reckless abandon, and stupidity. It's not all glum though, as he recounts the stories of animals we've saved. I truly believe humans are generally good, because even though we have the greatest ability to screw up ever developed, we also have the ability to fix things.

Richard Ellis's style is quite easy to read, and informal. He doesn't throw around big words for the sake of "I'm so smart and better at everything>", and this book is quite accessible to those who have no background in biology or extinctions or animals. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject, as Ellis provides an excellent jumping off point, with plenty of resources and books mentioned throughout.

I'll end with another story, this one kind of depressing. One of the species mentioned in this book, published in 2004, is the baiji, or Chinese River Dolphin. The baiji has not been seen in sometime, and is widely considered extinct, or that the few animals left could never re-breed enough to save them. We were too late to save the Chinese River Dolphin. We don't have to let any more slip through to the other side, and we can do something. I don't know what, but something.
All Horse Systems Go: The Horse Owner's Full-Color Veterinary Care and Conditioning Resource for Modern Performance, Sport, and Pleasure Horses - Nancy S. Loving A must have for any horse owner or lover. Filled with lots of information and hundreds of helpful photographs and diagrams, this book is a great reference for the horse in sickness and in health.

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