First Lines Fridays: September 1st


First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

The Rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first

Finally… reveal the book!


It was dawn, and the zombies were stumbling through the parking lot, streaming toward the massive beige box at the far end. Later they’d be resurrected by megadoses of Starbucks, but for now they were the barely living dead. 



Interested? Keep reading to find out which book this is from.



Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

What it’s about:

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.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

I remember when this came out, and I knew I had to read it. I eventually bought it when the Kindle edition was on sale, and then it got sucked into the bottomless pit that is my collection of e-books :/ But it’s been on my mind a lot recently, so I’m thinking of starting it soon.

Have any of you read it? What did you think of it?


Must Read Mondays: June 12th


Must Read Monday is a weekly thing I do here to recommend books I’ve read and enjoyed. I might sometimes throw in something I gave 3 stars to, but for the most part they’re books I gave a 4-5 star rating to. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily amazing literature, but it does mean I liked them enough to recommend them to other people.


The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks



cover; links to goodreads


When I read it: May 2011

Genres: It has them, but I’m not sure what they are :/ Let’s go with: humor, horror

Recommended for: Anyone who likes zombies, or anyone who wants to prep for any potential apocalyptic event.



Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


What it’s about:

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, World War ZThe Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.

Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack

1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

Don’t be carefree and foolish with your most precious asset—life. This book is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now without your even knowing it. The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through trusted, proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead. It is a book that can save your life.


Alright, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that I don’t remember this very clearly. It’s been over 6 years since I read it, so the details are pretty fuzzy now, but I do remember reading it very quickly and loving it. I actually gave this 5/5 stars back then. This might not be for everyone, but if you like zombies, fiction that’s written like non-fiction, or books about preppers, you might like this.


Have you read it? What did you think?

Book Review: The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo


Genres: Non-fiction/memoir; humor

Why I read it: I won a copy from a giveaway on goodreads. (More on this later)

Who I’d recommend it to: Honestly? I don’t know. Adults, fans of Amy’s, people who enjoy reading celebrity memoirs, people who like comedians, etc.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5 stars)

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

What it’s about:

Do I really need to do this? Probably not, but here we go anyway. It’s a bunch of pieces of varying lengths about Amy’s life and experiences. Most have a good bit of humor, but some are really not funny, and not meant to be. Pretty much nothing is off-limits, so be warned if you don’t like “adult content.”


I’d like to preface this by saying I’m really sleep deprived, but I didn’t want to put off reviewing this one so I wouldn’t forget anything. (Also, I kind of hate reviewing memoirs because it feels weird to basically review someone’s life.)

When you think about someone reading a memoir written by a celebrity,  you probably think of fans doing the reading, right? Wellll, here’s the thing… I only kind of knew who Amy Schumer was before this book. (I know, I live under a rock.) What I knew about her was:

  • She’s a comedian
  • Inside Amy Schumer is a thing (I’ve heard the name and I still have no clue what it is)
  • The Star Wars-y magazine cover
  • At some point she said, “I’m probably, like, 160 pounds right now and I can catch a d**k whenever I want.”
  • The picture of her in her underwear on twitter (I think) and the comment “I am a size 6 and have no plans of changing. This is it. Stay on or get off.”
  • The Glamour magazine plus-size issue thing
  • This gem about getting birth control (which I saw on tumblr, I think, and as of 30 seconds ago, I finally know what Inside Amy Schumer is)

I’m actually glad I went into this not knowing much about her. I didn’t feel any fan-driven obligation to read an enjoy it, and it gave me a sense of what her comedy is like in my favorite medium (I just don’t watch/listen to comedy very often). If I hadn’t won a copy, there’s a good chance I would have bought it.

I blew through most of this in almost one sitting. I laughed out loud a few times, I cringed many times, I wanted to hug her several times, I teared up at least twice, and  I wish I could thank her. I had many other reactions while reading this book, but those are the highlights.

“I don’t know how introverts survived without the Internet. Or with the Internet. Actually, I don’t know how we survive at all. It feels impossible.”

Some funny people don’t always write as funny as they are in person, but I think her humor translated well to the page. (I bet the audio book is even better, though.) The writing flowed well, with no sections dragging by. It was funny when it was supposed to be, but she also wasn’t afraid to talk about serious issues (both in her own personal life, and beyond). She talks about so many things, like being an introvert and how she manages that doing what she does for a living, sexual encounters (not always her own), her family, her childhood and time in college, money, her journey from starting stand-up to where she is now, her vagina, and much more. This book was mostly humorous, but there were sections that broke my heart.

I wish I’d had this book when I was younger, because I think it would have helped me think differently, especially about myself and my own worth. It wasn’t because she gave loads of advice, but because it was just so…nice, I guess, to read about a woman who owns her mistakes, loves herself, and is living her life on her terms. It was refreshing, and a bit inspiring. Reading this book was like coming home after a long day in uncomfortable clothes and shoes, and getting into your coziest pajamas and slippers, then ranting about your day to a friend. I felt lighter and happier, more comfortable (with myself), but just a little sore (there were some painful things to read about).

While I didn’t love every minute of reading this, I did enjoy it overall. I’ll recommend it to others, I’m sure, and now I want to watch her show or something.

“I know my worth. I embrace my power. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story. I will.”

tl;dr review: There’s more to this book than humorous stories, and I really liked it and recommend it, especially if you’re already a fan.

If you have issues reading about sex, bodily functions, “strong language,” mentions of alcohol and other substances, domestic abuse, women talking about what it’s like to be a woman, etc., you should probably not read this book.


Have you read it? What did you think?

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by maeatdg cover green
Jesse Andrews

Genres: YA; Contemporary; Humor

Pages: 295

Published: 2012 (my edition with the green cover is the 2015 revised edition)

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Greg Gaines, highschool senior, thinks he has life figured out and under control. He has his grand scheme for escaping high school pretty much unnoticed, by never really being friends with anyone and keeping the lowest profile possible. He makes films with Earl, the one person you could kind of describe as his friend. He exists, but doesn’t really interact with other people. Greg is totally fine with this, and really wants to continue living this way. Things get more complicated (and at times absolutely mortifying) than he could have ever imagined when his mother interferes and gets him to become friends with a girl named Rachel, who has cancer.

This book was a delightful disaster from the first page until the last. The story is written from Greg’s perspective, and there were times when I wanted to punch him in the eye, and other times when I wanted to awkwardly hug him and pat his head. It was interesting to get the story from his POV, even if he was a bit of an ass at times. I don’t think he ever really meant to be an ass, but even he acknowledged that he wasn’t the greatest person. He wasn’t a horrible guy, though, just human. Honestly, it was a nice change from the “super amazing and wonderful underneath the asshole/badboy/whatever exterior” cliche.

I mostly loved Earl. He was fantastic in so many ways. Earl had serious anger and attitude problems (which was kind of hilarious sometimes), but he was pretty much Greg’s moral compass in a way. He was also responsible for waking Greg up a bit to the reality of what was going on. I really want to know more about Earl, especially how he’s doing now. My only serious complaint about him was when he made some biphobic comments to Greg at one point. That really irritated me.

Rachel (AKA The Dying Girl) didn’t play as big of a role as I expected. I don’t have any opinion of her, really, which is a bit disappointing.

I think my favorite character was Greg’s dad. He was such a stereotypical dad at times, and I thought every scene with him was really amusing. Greg’s mom really annoyed me, though. There was this one part that involved several adults doing a thing that made me want to shake them all and ask them what the hell was wrong with them. I think you’ll know which part I’m talking about if you’ve read this or do read it at some point.

If you like YA without romance, but with humor, I would recommend this one. Just don’t read it if profanity and other “strong language” offends you haha.