Author Archives: Zarah Robinson

Review of The Whimsicals, by Mr. Bohemian

I won a copy of The Whimsicals, by Mr. Bohemian. I think it was through Goodreads, but I’m not 100% certain. It’s been sitting on my self for a while, waiting for me to feel inspired to read a series of short plays (Christian ones, at that).

Description:

Strap on your angel wings and resize your halo, this bus is set for Heaven or bust! A congregation of comedy and curiosity to cackle and confuse mortals and immortals. No angels were harmed in the making of this production. No demons were flattered in the making of this production.

Angel Incorporated

Your guardian angel is tracking your reward points. Do you have enough for a miracle? The angels of Angelix watch over mortals from their computer. From there they may provide their assigned mortal with what they need, but not often what they want. Is managing mankind not your nine to five? The demons of Daemonix are always accepting applications. 

The Guilty Gardener

Calling the case of The Children of The Garden versus Sylmalice. The prosecution states that Angel Sylmalice trailed the girl Eve into biting the tree of treachery. The defense argues that ever since “the exeunt” of Lucifer, angels have been actively prejudice to demons. Therefore, Angel Sylmalice is innocent by reason of “authenticity”, with mental collapse triggered by systematic social suppression. Angel 12 is on the case.

Kitty Kloud 9

You are now kruising on Kitty Kloud 9: Where Pets Get Picky! While on the show, angel parents possess the chance to chat with their pets. Are your dog and kitty kaught in a furball? Is the bird barbarically flicking the fish again? Step lightly with Angel 9 and Mr. Kitty, as they tiptoe through tantrums and bring peace to petkind.

Review:

Soooo, this is a thing I’ve now read. I can’t say it resonated with me, and not because of the religious content. (I think it works fine for the irreligious too). I just thought the whole thing was trying way too hard to be claver and witty. Especially in The Guilty Gardner, where they excoriate relativism by expounding on the difference between nothing and no thing, for example. (And that’s if I actually followed all the banter-like quibs correctly. And Kitty Kloud 9, where everything is written with Ks instead of Cs, even though it’s a PLAY and how would the audience know the difference?It just felt gimmicky.

Review of The Perfect Mother, by Aimee Molloy

I initially won a paperback copy of Aimee Molloy‘s The Perfect Mother through Goodreads. However, in order to get it read, I chose to borrow an audio copy of it from the library for a road trip.

Description:

They call themselves the May Mothers—a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. Twice a week, with strollers in tow, they get together in Prospect Park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood; sharing the fears, joys, and anxieties of their new child-centered lives.

When the group’s members agree to meet for drinks at a hip local bar, they have in mind a casual evening of fun, a brief break from their daily routine. But on this sultry Fourth of July night during the hottest summer in Brooklyn’s history, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is abducted from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but the May Mothers insisted that everything would be fine. Now Midas is missing, the police are asking disturbing questions, and Winnie’s very private life has become fodder for a ravenous media.

Though none of the other members in the group are close to the reserved Winnie, three of them will go to increasingly risky lengths to help her find her son. And as the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days that follow, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured.

Review:

Honestly, this is a hard one for me to review. There are certain kinds of books that I just don’t particularly enjoy, and this is one of them. Of course, I didn’t realize that until I’d gotten into the book, and that left me with the choice to DNF or muscle through it. I chose to finish it. Being objective, the writing is perfectly readable and (as I had the audio-book) the narration by Cristin Milioti is very good as well. But 9.5 hours of new mother anxiety nearly broke me.

I’ll grant that any woman who has had children in the last decade or so will recognize the pressure to be perfect, the mommy competition, the stress and anxiety caused by parenting an infant in the world of social media, etc. (I imagine every generation has some version of this). But any positive feeling engendered by relating to this aspect of the characters was eclipsed by the fact that the mothers (and one father) of this book were basically neurotic. Yes, parenting a newborn is hard. Yes, the characters of this book are subjected to additional stressors. But 300+ pages of “OMG, my Baaaaby!” felt like about an eternity to me. I hated them all by the end.

I suppose the best I can say is that if you like this sort of book, the sort where women agonize over being women, then read this. For me, I’m just glad to be finished.

Review of The Nose from Jupiter, by Richard Scrimger

I won a copy of Richard Scrimger‘s The Nose From Jupiter through Goodreads.

Description:

How do you shut up when your nose is doing all the talking?

Alan is not big or strong. He hates playing soccer and can barely keep up in math class. Moreover, he’s fodder for every bully for miles around. But all that changes the day Norbert, an alien from Jupiter, comes to earth on an exploration mission and moves into . . . Alan’s nose. Soon Alan isn’t acting like himself, but is Norbert really to blame? Loud, pushy and hilarious, Norbert teaches Alan to stand up for himself, even when the odds are stacked against him.

Review:

While there was nothing wrong with this story, I expected a lot more of it. When you pick up a book that is a “20th Anniversary Edition,” you expect to find a story that has enough je ne sais quoi to have endured two decades. You expect something special. But, while this is a perfectly fine middle grade story, it’s not special in any real way. I appreciated that the bullies were both girls and boys, and that the students seemed to come in different shapes. But beyond that….it’s ok. I imagine a 12-year-old boy will like it fine. I didn’t object to any of the content. I feel perfectly comfortable passing it to my 8 & 11-year olds.