Book Review: Please Don’t Laugh At My Funeral By Kole McRae

Steve is going to kill himself in 30 days.

Steve Campbell is depressed to the point of suicide. He’s lost his job, the love of his life and soon he’ll be forced out of his own home. With nothing left to lose he decides to set an expiration date on his body, hoping it will force him to seize the day like he’d always been told to do.

Each chapter in this novel is one day in Steve’s life. They follow the antics he pursues in a desperate grab at finding some kind of meaning to his life. He takes all kinds of illegal drugs, hires prostitutes, jumps across train cars, blackmails his old boss and more.

18741464I loved this book. My favorite lines: 1) “Dude,” Frank said. “You’re homeless, you can do anything right now. Absolutely anything, no repercussions.” Frank smiled. 2) Waking up, Steve felt something he hadn’t woken up to in a while: He felt happy. 3) “I like that: no name, no story. Just her. Fuck it, let’s get that watch!” Leroy said. 4) “If you’re breaking up with me, I have to let you know, I didn’t even realize we were dating.”

Meet Steve. He planned to kill himself in 30 days. He met his new roommate, Frank, who brought LeRoy into the mix to try and get Steve out of his funk. Even though Steve was the main character, the author did a fabulous job of creating colorful characters. I ended up caring for everyone and loving their fun adventure. They ended up getting into crazy things and often times the two guys ended up calling Steve “self-centered jerk.” I loved their back and forth. In fact, the dialogue and conversations were the favorite part of the book for me.

Even though Steve was the sad one, he seemed calmer and more mature than Frank and LeRoy. They seemed more reckless, making me believe that there could be a twist of maybe Steve lives but Frank ends up dying. Or maybe even LeRoy.

I hoped that the story would have a happy ending. I was really rooting for Steve to change his mind. Things started to look good–he met a girl named Nat. I jumped out of my seat when readers found out she was the body in the morgue.

Poor Steve. He lost the girl of his dreams. His mom had died, and his brother had committed suicide. One of his friends overdosed. No wonder he was giving up.

If you want to know if Steve lived or followed through with his plan, you’ll have to read to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Get Clean By Jams N. Roses

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

‘We’re creatures of habit, us humans, some of us more than others.’

An addict, a psychopath, a drug dealer and his girlfriend.

This is a humorous crime story full of addiction, wrong decisions and terrible friends. Before we can pick ourselves up, we must sometimes hit rock bottom.

Cocaine is everywhere; young men and women are sniffing ‘recreational drugs’ as often as sparking cigarettes or sipping beer, typical of a generation educated by music videos and tabloid newspapers.

Jimmy Walker, a smart, young man with a caring family around him, should have the world at his feet. If only he wasn’t addicted to cocaine. Aware of his ‘casual addiction’, as he calls it, he decides a change of scenery would be a good thing…

But Jimmy finds himself amongst more cocaine, crime, liars, psychopaths, random violence than ever before, and even murder, whilst doing numerous drug deals and increasingly more cocaine.

All the time his body and mind are deteriorating at an alarming rate. Will he continue to get high, or will he Get Clean?

Loosely based on true events.

Adult content.

41QsxTuZm4L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-70,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I loved this 26 chapter book. It was written in Jimmy’s first person point-of-view. He went to rehab after being depressed and had an overdose. Once he got out, he planned to spend time in Spain to try and get clean, to get new scenery. His girlfriend, Colleen, had dumped him for someone else, so his friends teased that he was escaping his heartache.

He meets Jason in Spain. The job they applied for sucks, so they quit and become friends. Jimmy ends up staying with Jason and Sarah, his landlady. I thought it was cute how they both had a crush on her even though her boyfriend was a dangerous drug dealer. The whole time I kept thinking this won’t end well for one, maybe both, of them.

My favorite lines: 1) Remember I said that Jason would make a good salesman? Well, maybe if he actually gave a shit. 2) I didn’t think that any respectable newspaper would print a story using phrases such as ‘beats down,’ ‘bit on the side,’ or ‘English dude,’ but I got his point.

As a reader, I wished that quotation marks wouldn’t have been around Jimmy’s thoughts. Sometimes I had to go back to figure out he was just thinking something instead of speaking. There was some headhopping, but nothing distracting from the interesting story. Even though they’d be considered ‘losers’ in real life, all the characters were interesting and entertaining. They had a somewhat endearing quality, causing me to root for them to get their acts together.

The author did a fantastic job with dialogue. I loved all the conversations–all the plotting and schemes. I laughed a lot from the sarcastic humor. At times, I couldn’t tell if Jimmy was sarcastic or if he was just stating facts in a naive, innocent way. Either way, his observations were funny.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author and book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Head Case By Jennifer Oko

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

Meet Olivia Zack, neuroscientist, pharmaceutical consultant—and murder victim.

A humorous mystery from an author whose work has been called “simply riveting” by The New York Times and “sharp and fast-paced” by Publisher’s Weekly—it’s Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones meets Carl Hiaasen’s Nature Girl (with a dash of Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money) as Olivia embarks on a postmortem quest to deconstruct the events that lead up to her mind-altering death.

A comic satire of the influence of the psychopharmaceutical industry on American life, HEAD CASE takes Olivia and her estranged friend and roommate Polly Warner on a collision course involving ethically challenged executives, spotlight-hungry celebrities, third-rate mobsters, and drug-dealing babushkas. A smart and savvy page-turner, HEAD CASE explores the meaning of personal relationships, emotional intelligence, and mental health while taking the reader on a synapse-stirring, neurotransmitting rollicking ride.

17160117I enjoyed this 54 chapter book. It was told through Olivia’s first person point-of-view. She was murdered so it’s actually through her ghost’s perspective. It was pretty cool that she could access other character’s memories, showing a full picture of what lead to the hit on her life. Polly, her best friend, was a very important person in Olivia’s life; therefore, sometimes it seemed like Polly’s life was discussed more than the main character. As a reader, I understood the reasoning behind it from Olivia’s explanation.

My favorite lines: 1) My body froze–not just in the sense of standing still, but like I had just taken a dive into a snow bank. A stinging, prickly freeze. 2) I get to play the role of wise sage, and with an amazing perspective. Because when you die, not only can you flit around the present, you also get to watch stuff in rewind. 3) …What would you do if you were locked in a New York city taxicab with only fifteen minutes left to live? What issue would you want to resolve?

I loved Olivia’s sarcastic sense of humor. It made sense that she’d be bitter over her death. It was scary when she drove in the cab and the driver went in the wrong direction, locking the doors. Chills went down my spine. The spookiest events are the ones that can happen in real life.

I liked that the story focused on the conspiracy in pharmaceutical’s R&D (research and development)–how they hid the negatives of side effects and made up lies in order to focus on marketing. I could definitely see this happening in real life.

I thought the author did a great job with characterization. They all had good and bad qualities, all three-dimensional. I liked that Olivia and Polly weren’t Mary Sues. They got a hold of prescription medicine to sell to celebrities. Even though they were drug dealers, Olivia didn’t die directly from that life of crime.

  • It was good that Polly was determined to investigate her best friend’s death, to not settle for a “wrong place at the wrong time” scenario the news tried to spin. Her and Olivia had their disagreements before she passed away, so Olivia appreciated that Polly still had her back. A bittersweet moment that they could never officially make up.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby