Disclaimer: I received a free electronic version of this book for review purposes. However, the opinions expressed here are my own and exactly what they would have been had I paid for this book.
Cinderella’s Secret Diary Book 1: Lost by Ron Vitale is, at its simplest, the story of what happens to Cinderella after ‘Happy Ever After.’ A few paragraphs in, I thought, ‘Hmmm. He’s novelized Into the Woods.’ (It’s a Stephen Sondheim musical, for the non-theatre geeks out there.) This is not a bad thing; anyone who knows me well knows of my deep and abiding affection for all things Sondheim.
The novel is written in the first person by Cinderella in the form of a diary that’s more a series of letters (to her long-gone Fairy Godmother) than it is a confessional, and beginning about four years after the fateful ball when she met and fell in love with her Prince.
not this one
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I came to know of Christopher Buckley last summer, when he was making the press rounds for They Eat Puppies, Don’t They? After listening to an interview, I knew I had to start reading him (full disclosure: he had me at the word ‘punditariat’).
Supreme Courtship is the story of Donald P. Vanderdamp: President of the United States, bowling aficionado, and ruthless killer of so many bills that the legislature calls him ‘Don Veto’. It’s also the story of Pepper Cartwright: Texan, redhead (with all the stereotypical fiery temperament that comes with it), daughter of the famous televangelist, Reverend Roscoe, and presiding Judge on the hit television show, Courtroom Six. I’ll bet you can see where this is going.
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We meet the Freeman family (Matt, his wife Sara, and their 11-year-old son Andrew) at the pediatric oncologist’s office. Andrew’s cancer has returned, and there are few options left to provide any hope of recovery. But Dr. Davenport tells Matt and Sara about a new gene therapy that may be able to repair the cellular mechanisms in Andrew’s body and kill the tumors.
As many parents would, the Freemans decide to try, because Andrew will die if they do nothing – after all, this gene therapy couldn’t make things any worse, right? Fast forward two weeks, and Andrew is completely cancer-free. No tumors in his brain. No tumors in his spine. No tumors in his organs. Cured.
Then, Andrew dies in a house fire when he’s at home alone.
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I’m an unknown Pajiban, so, howdy! You don’t know me because I rarely comment on Pajiba, although I read it faithfully. This is likely why I have no clever, creative Pajiba name. That, and laziness. Moving on…
Charlie Asher, the protagonist of Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job and purveyor of used goods, is a self-described Beta Male. Where the Alpha Male uses sheer force of will (if not force itself) to get what he wants, the Beta Male uses cunning; where the Alpha Male is cocky, the Beta Male doubts everything about himself. And where the Alpha Male believes that the world is his oyster, the Beta Male is certain that the world is out to get him.
When we meet him, Charlie is annoying the hell out of his wife, the entire nursing staff of the maternity ward, and likely even his newborn daughter, Sophie. Charlie is annoying the hell out of them with his overbearing concern and niceness, caused by his certainty that all this bliss (which, because he’s Beta Male, is surely the result of nothing but luck) is going to be taken away.
He’s right, by the way. Read the entire review here.