Showing posts with label buying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label buying. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

[Review] Horrorstör - Grady Hendrix: Zombies in Ikea

Strange things are happening at Orsk, an Ikea knockoff store in Ohio. When the store closes, the cameras automatically shut off so in order to investigate some employees have to work a night shift.

What a strange, strange concept. I was expecting a terrifying read with a possibly super twisted ghost or monster story, but got a very gory, very unsettling read that is more reminiscent of a Supernatural episode than an actual horror novel.

More parody than horror

You can't review this novel without appreciating the formatting. The design is phenomenal. If you put this book next to an Ikea catalog, you'll end up accidentally grabbing the wrong book eventually. It's so convincing, so beautiful, and just perfectly illustrated. As for the story, I'm disappointed. I expected too much, probably went in with the expectation to read a horror novel when it's more of a satirical ghost story. Not even a ghost story to be honest, the focus is heavily on ridiculing retail stores and their philosophies. It's entertaining, but to me the potential got pretty much wasted. 

For everyone who reads a lot of horror it's obvious what will happen and there is more gore than actual horror. I'm all for spine-tingling reads that make you want to sleep with the lights on, but "Horrorstör" is definitely not that. Regardless, it's a decent read, simply not what I was looking for.

Wasted potential

I didn't really connect to the narrative firstly because the characters aren't that important to the story. It's told from a mix between omniscient and character-centric narration, focusing mainly on Amy, an employee that thinks she's in a dead-end job and just waiting to be transferred into a different store when the hauntings start. Hendrix only draws the side characters very roughly and none of them get an actual ending, making the book end on a very weird note that just left me unsatisfied. 

There are a couple of super interesting characters. From the ghost fanatic Amy to Matt who's pretending to be into ghosts just to get into Amy's pants, to the store manager Basil who's convinced to do the right thing always, to Ruth Anne, the sweetheart who's been working at Orsk forever,  whom you just have to love. There is just so much wasted potential and because the whole thing doesn't get resolved and the hauntings are just sort of happening, I was bored very quickly. Not a fan of gore either, so this one is just not for me.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

If you're looking for something fun and don't mind graphic descriptions of disgusting things and bodily fluids - go ahead. This isn't a horror novel per se. If you want to have a good chuckle about the peculiarities of working in retail, pick it up! If you're looking for an actual horror read, you might want to skip this one.

Additional Info

Published: September 23rd 2014
Pages: 248
Publisher: Quirk
Genre: Adult / Horror
ISBN: 1594745269

"Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom."(Source: Goodreads)

 Did you ever get lost in an IKEA? Come on, admit it.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

How to Really Keep Your TBR Below 20 Books | Book Blogging Tips (#27)

As a book blogger, we all know this problem: buying books to no end, with even no intention of ever actually reading them.

An unread library is a great thing, right? You'll convince yourself that you'll get to read those books eventually, but you never do. And suddenly your TBR is in the hundreds.
Let me help you fix that.

I'm not going to tell you to just stop buying books like most of these posts say. Let's be realistic, we're never going to stop buying books and we don't want to. I have found a bullet-proof method to make sure that TBR is going down. With every step you decide to take it will get harder and more difficult. If you do them all and actually go through with it, your TBR WILL get smaller. Trust me.

  • Step 1: Create a bookshelf only for unread books.
Reorganize. In order to know what kind of problem we're dealing with, you have to find out how big it actually is. If you know your TBR will be in the hundreds, stick to making space for it in a single shelf. If you're really serious about this, you can even make two shelves or even an entire book case.
But be warned: the bigger the TBR we are planning to eliminate, the harsher this will be.

  • Step 2: Make a schedule
You won't get to read a new book unless you've read ___ books from the shelf.
My TBR was about fifty when I started that method, so I stuck with two books from that shelf and then a book I really want to read (no matter if from that TBR shelf or not) or a book received for review.
Depending on the size of your TBR stack I propose this:
50: 2 from the TBR, 1 book of your choice
100: 4 from the TBR, 2 books of your choice
200: 8 from the TBR, 3 books of your choice
300: 10 from the TBR, 4 books of your choice
If that your TBR shelves are eliminated, restack them with the rest of your unread books until there are less than twenty left. Twenty is an okay number to stop. Don't let that TBR pile build up again, you've learned your lesson.

  • Step 3: Close your blog for pitches.
Yup. You have enough books to read, stop being delusional. There won't be any book proposed to you that isn't similar to a book you already have your TBR. You can reopen your blog for review requests when your TBR has divided in half. I'm serious. Close it now.

  • Step 4: The BIG NOs
Here are some things that you are absolutely NOT going to do. If you do them, increase the amount of books to read from your TBR by one. There goes your treat.
  1. You aren't going to buy that sequel to the really great book you read if you haven't read enough TBR books
  2. You aren't going to spend more than 30$ on books per month
  3. You aren't going to pass on the TBR books because you want to read something different. That shelf WILL be read.
  • Step 5: Buying Habits - Sales Only
Yeah I know buying books is the bane of our existences, but you really have to check your habits if you've made it to step five and still don't really see your TBR shrinking. We have to fight the problem at its source. Your wallet will thank you, even though you might hate me.
  • Only buy books on special sale if you're saving a lot of money. I'm not talking about 2$ discounts
  • No gift cards. You'll still be able to use them after you've taken care of the TBR
  • Don't bring any money or credit cards if you HAVE to go to a bookstore and are already over your book buying limit
  • Take a friend to that book store and tell them to make sure you don't buy anything
If you actually go through with all of these, your TBR should shrink significantly very soon. If it doesn't, you're not following the rules. Always remember: Keeping your TBR in check doesn't only help your wallet, it also helps the conscience. Don't buy stuff you don't want to read! 

What are your tips on managing your TBR?

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Monday, July 20, 2015

[Review] Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic #1) - Sophie Kinsella

Becky Bloomwood is addicted to shopping. While many people casually say this, with her it's actually true. She can't walk past a single shop without entering. It's not even only clothes, it's everything!

Her credit cards are all maxed out and she's on the verge of getting a visit by a bailiff. So now she has two options: Cut Back or Make More Money. 

This is actually the very first thing that got me into Sophie Kinsella.
I've watched the movie about a couple of times and absolutely loved it, so I decided to check out a novel by her and ended up loving "Remember Me" to death.

Now I finally took the plunge and read the book that the movie was based on. However, I was absolutely disappointed.

No Match for Kinsella's Other Novels

The wit that makes Kinsella without comparison my favorite chick-lit author is absolutely missing. Becky is a shallow, conceited and surprisingly childish grown woman who doesn't have anything figured out in her life. She managed to cheat her way into becoming a financial journalist and is a pathological liar. She's not funny like the protagonists of other Kinsella novels, she's downright scarily naive. 
It's intended to be funny how Becky is unable to save even a penny and ends every day with having spend a couple of hundred pounds that she doesn't even have. To me, this isn't funny, it's just sad and seriously, I wanted to shake her so that she'll finally get a grip on her life. Becky is a really frustrating character that doesn't seem to have learned anything in life and she doesn't even act like a grown woman. The novel might as well could have been about a sixteen year old teenager maxing out her mother's credit cards behind her back.

Inredibly Boring Side Characters

The supporting cast of characters is basically non-existent. They don't really seem to be of importance, except for Becky's roommate who has multiple appearances. The time Becky spends with other characters just feels like filler content and her colleagues at work all seem like the same person, just copied and pasted into another chapter.

The love interest Luke is really one of the most boring characters I've ever seen. Their fling seems like a really cheap side plot and counting by the times that Becky straight up lied to his face and embarrassed herself, you'd think that a grown, successful man like him would want nothing to do with someone like her. They're like day and night and in this case, I don't think opposites attract.

The plot is basically non-existent and every day seems to be the same. Becky starts off with saying "I'm not going to spend more than 2.50 today" and ends up with a ridiculous purchase of over 200 pounds. It's the same over and over again.
The thing with Kinsella novels is though, that you can't put them down. This novel isn't for me, it's not witty, there's no plot, no tension and I didn't even like characters. The writing, however, is just excellent. There's no other word for it. The book has nothing that appeals to me, except maybe the little hope that it might get better. It reads very, very, very easily, because it's written so lightly. That's about all I liked though.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

No. I like the movie way better, because they decided to cut out a lot of filler material that's just cluttering the novel. It was an easy read, but I didn't like it personally.

"Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she's never looked better.... Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it--not any of it. 

Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn't pay much at all. And lately Becky's been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank--letters with large red sums she can't bear to read--and they're getting ever harder to ignore. 

She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky's only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something.... Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life--and the lives of those around her--forever. 

Sophie Kinsella has brilliantly tapped into our collective consumer conscience to deliver a novel of our times--and a heroine who grows stronger every time she weakens. Becky Bloomwood's hilarious schemes to pay back her debts are as endearing as they are desperate. Her "confessions" are the perfect pick-me-up when life is hanging in the (bank) balance. "
(Source: Goodreads)

The Series

Confessions of a Shopaholic (#1)
Shopaholic Takes Manhatten (#2)
Shopaholic Ties the Knot (#3)
Shopaholic on Honeymoon (#3.5)
Shopaholic and Sister (#4)
Shopaholic and Baby (#5)
Mini Shopaholic (#6)
Shopaholic to the Stars (#7)

Additional Info

Dial Press Cover, 2005.

Original Title: Confessions of a Shopaholic
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published: December 30th 2008
Pages: 320
Medium: Paperback
Publisher: Dial Press
Cover: Dial Press, 2008.
Genre: Adult / Chick-Lit
ISBN:  9780385342353

Link on Publisher's Site 

(pictured above: Dial Press Cover, 2008.)

Have You Ever Read a Kinsella Novel? What's Your Favorite?

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