Humor Reviews

Zombies vs. Unicorns

[openbook booknumber=”9781416989530″][rating:4/5]

Which is better, the zombie or the unicorn?

Justine Larbalestier says that zombies are our own walking deaths. Funny, grim, and terrifying, they cannot be escaped. Unicorns are sparkly and pastel and fart rainbows.

Holly Black says that unicorns are healers, arbiters of justice, and, occasionally, majestic man-killers. Zombies drool and shed and probably carry diseases.

Some of today’s finest writers have chosen their side, creating dazzling stories about both creatures. So read on, and decide for yourself:

Are you Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

Just for the record I am Team Unicorn all the way. I have loved unicorns since I was very small. I had stuffed animal unicorns, my little pony action figures that were unicorns, even unicorn wallpaper on the walls of my bedroom (oh yes, there were rainbows too, why do you ask?). I was a huge fantasy fan even then. Zombies have been a much more recent addition to my life and while I do find them frightening intriguing frightening, but in an intriguing way, I don’t normally get much enjoyment out of reading about them.

With this attitude I cracked open Zombies vs. Unicorns, a short story anthology edited by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black. The purpose of this book is to have a show down between short stories about zombies and short stories about unicorns to see which one would come out on top. Some of the best YA fantasy authors contributed to this collection and it shows. Even the stories that weren’t as powerful as some of the others still had a shine to them that I appreciated and I didn’t feel that there was a dull one in the bunch.

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Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

[openbook booknumber=”9780670021390″][rating:4/5]

Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille – the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town – a woman trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. But when tragedy strikes, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt, Tootie Caldwell.

In her vintage Packard convertible, Tootie whisks CeeCee away to Savannah’s perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity, a world that seems to be run entirely by women. From the exotic Mix Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who skinny dips in her backyard bathtub and uses garden slugs as her secret weapon, to Tootie’s all-knowing housekeeper, Oletta Jones, Violene Hobbs, who entertains a local police officer in her canary-yellow peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

Laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching, Beth Hoffman’s sparkling debut hums with wacky humor and down-home heart. It explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others. Above all, it is a book full of feminine wisdom – one to cherish, remember, and share.

Reading about CeeCee’s adventures had me by turns laughing out loud and nearly in tears as her life unfolded over the course of this wacky southern summer.

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A Play of Knaves

[openbook booknumber=”0425211118″][rating:3/5]

In the pages of Margaret Frazer’s national bestselling Dame Frevisse series, the player Joliffe has assumed many roles on stage, to the delight of those he entertains. Now, in the company of a troupe of traveling performers, he finds himself cast in the role of sleuth…

In the spring of 1435, Joliffe and his fellow players are sent to the village of Ashewell not only to stage plays, but to uncover some dark secrets about the town’s three wealthy families: the Ashewells, the Medcotes, and the Gosyns. A rivalry has been brewing among the families, entangling the entire town in a web of seduction, deception, and blackmail.

Matters go beyond the breaking point when someone turns to murder to settle their grievances. And if one murder is good, why not another? If all the world is a stage, then it’s up to Joliffe to bring the curtain down on this tragedy – before another man takes his final curtain call…

The book A Play of Knaves is one of a series of historical mysteries that follow the player Joliffe as he ends up in a variety of situations that require some serious sleuthing to stay out of trouble.

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Skipping Christmas

[openbook booknumber=”0385505833″]

[rating:4/5]

Nora and Luther Krank are sick of celebrating Christmas. Well, Luther is, and he talks Nora into his point of view. They are tired of the crass commercialism, the crowds, the yelling, the stress, and the exorbitant price ($6,100!) of celebrating Christmas. So, when their daughter Blair leaves for a year to join the Peace Corp Luther decides they are going to skip Christmas. And, to talk his wife into it, he sweetens the pot by saying that instead they will save their money and, at half the cost, go on a cruise that sets sail Christmas Day.

So while everyone else eats too much turkey, ham, duck and more the Kranks go on a diet. While everyone else is racing around the mall stressing about shopping and gifts and last minute deadlines, the Kranks take naps in tanning booths, preparing for ten long days in the Caribbean sun. While their neighbors decorate and string up lights and lug forty pound light up Frosty’s onto their roofs, the Kranks sit back in front of the fire and relax. Their neighbors are shocked and stunned, some outraged, others jealous and consequences soon start to arise. The Kranks soon discover that skipping Christmas might not be so easy to do after all.

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Press Boners

[rating:1/5]

A short, small book Press Boners contains various typos, miss-sayings, poorly written sentences, and out right sarcastic headlines and article quotes from newspapers all across the country. It was a book foisted off on me by my father-in-law when he was going through his books and decided to get rid of several in a move.

The positives of the book is that it was at times laugh out loud funny, the sly jabs at men, women, and various situations were amusing to read as well as the intentional and unintentional humor found in them. It was also amusing to find the Lancaster New Era quoted a handful of times, my old hometown newspaper.

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