Island of the Sequined Love Nun

Island of the Sequined Love Nun

by Christopher Moore

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Take a wonderfully crazed excursion into the demented heart of a tropical paradise—a world of cargo cults, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas, and talking fruit bats. Our bumbling hero is Tucker Case, a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy’s body, who makes a living as a pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation. But when he demolishes his boss’s pink plane during a drunken airborne liaison, Tuck must run for his life from Mary Jean’s goons. Now there’s only one employment opportunity left for him: piloting shady secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary and a sexy blond high priestess on the remotest of Micronesian hells. Here is a brazen, ingenious, irreverent, and wickedly funny novel from a modern master of the outrageous.

Here is the setting: I am standing in the airport waiting for my flight on a bleak January evening. The pit of my stomach aches with the unnecessary stress that always accompanies the holidays and, thankfully, the airport bar is open. I shoot a whiny text to my best friend expressing my despair of not having a funny tropical book to get me through family vacation. She’s a gem and readily suggests Island of the Sequined Love Nun. I curse spotty wifi and download the book (I didn’t even read the book blurb) while sitting at the airport bar waiting for a shot of tequila. Guys….it turned out to be the perfect read to pull me out of my grumpy slump!

I am not providing a summary; the one above is perfectly vague and tantalizing. We are just going to jump into the review. I loved it. I mean…WWII flight exploits, Cargo Cults, live nose art, and perfectly detailed flight scenes…is there any question why I enjoyed this story?

drunk independence day GIF

It helps Island of the Sequined Love Nun also provides a complex plot, well developed characters, and tons of laughs. First: the characters are well rounded with each having individual flaws, positive qualities, and obvious personal growth. (Well. Except for the villains; however, they are delightfully crappy). Second: the setting is so effortlessly perfect. One minute you’re reading about Tucker traipsing through the jungle and the next you can taste the island grog and feel a bead of sweet roll its way down your butt crack. Moore is a quirky master of his craft.

HOWEVER….this is definitely the type of book you have to be in a specific mood to read. That is really going to be the only negative comment I have about the story. I mean there is a talking fruit bat and a holy poker game. It’s hilarious; it’s wacky. I picked up Island of the Sequined Love Nun because I desperately needed an easy laugh and it immediately delivered. But, I didn’t finish the book in one reading. I put it down and read something else when I experienced a change in mood. I picked it back up when I was ready to laugh again. And I enjoyed it!

This is the story I would recommend for those needing a funny, laugh-out-loud read to start off a beach vacation. It helped me get through the stress of a family vacation and frustrating time at work. I turned that last page (figuratively since I read it on my Kindle) while at the beach enjoying the perfect Florida spring weather. It was equally enjoyable on a sunny beach and gloomy airport. So read it!

Let me know if you’re a Christopher Moore fan and please share your summer reading list! Happy Reading!

Lindsay

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Wicked Appetite

Wicked Appetite

by Janet Evanovich

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For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers. He’s an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.

That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She’s freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston’s North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle’s bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it’s suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.

Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She’s not sure about Diesel. He’s offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.

The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that’s fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.

Wicked Appetite is the first book in a relatively new series by Janet Evanovich. Some of the main characters were initially introduced during her in-between-the-numbers Plum novels, but Stephanie is absent this time around. The Lizzy and Diesel series is different in that it doesn’t stick with the normal romance or quirky mystery storyline that is typical of Evanovich’s novels. Instead, Wicked Appetite takes a stab at a supernatural semi-romance story and I enjoyed it. 

I love the characters and they are one of the reasons I find myself coming back to Evanovich’s novels time after time. Lizzy is just an ordinary girl who can make extraordinary cupcakes and has the ability to find certain unmentionable items. Diesel, a ruggedly handsome stranger, needs her help to find seven stones that embody the Seven Deadly Sins. A rude monkey, ninja guard cat, bakery full of witchy women, knight, and mysterious bad guy make up the quirky supporting cast. Yep, it’s an Evanovich novel!

I love how naive and openly honest Lizzy is about her life. She has no problem telling Diesel how she feels and I found it endearing. I also love everything about Diesel and how he interacts with Lizzy. He is sweet, assertive, and yet perfectly protective of our sweet damsel. Diesel is my kind of guy and I plan to finish the series just to hear more about him! Plus, I LOVE how Evanovich portrays the glutton   attributes of the Moore family. Her humorous twists left me giggling constantly during my tedious drive.

I still do not get where Evanovich is going with this whole Unmentionable thing. It doesn’t seem to have any basis in any predetermined paranormal storyline and it just lacks the information I need to really enjoy the story. It just seems like everyone is ok with the lack of information (except Lizzy, she isn’t ok with any of it) and that lack left me a tad confused at times. I need more history and background to wholeheartedly jump onboard. If anyone gets the Unmentionable thing please feel free to enlighten me.

Also, I do not find Wolf attractive. At. All. The dark, dangerous vampire vibe is fine but it isn’t something to leave me swooning like the women in the novel. To be honest, their reactions made me rolling my eyes. I’m not about to jump in to bead with a cruel guy like Wolf so I don’t get the appeal. I am also wary of the whole ‘one of us will loose our unmentionable powers if we sleep together’ plot line. WHAT?!? I know there needs to be something keeping Lizzy and Diesel from jumping in the sack by chapter three but this has bad idea written all over it. What’s going to happen by the end of the series? Which character is willing to give up a part of themselves for sex? Eh….

Overall, it was a fun book to listen to during my commute. I love the characters and Diesel is my type of guy, but it will not be making my list of favorites. Have you read Wicked Appetite? Let me know what you think!

Lindsay