Paper Towns, by John Green

paper towns

Grade: A

Doing it at: N/A this is a classy real book, guys

Catnip: Girl Next Door; Mystery; YA; High School Confidential; Road Trips

Shame Scale: No shame, any shame I had over reading YA as an adult disappeared after I plunged full force into trash.

Fantasy Cast: Nat Wolff; Cara Delevingne

Book Description:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. When their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Margo has disappeared. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Embarking on an exhilarating adventure to find her, the closer Q gets, the less he sees the girl he thought he knew.

We decided that since neither Mary or I had read Paper Towns, even though I think we’ve read every other John Green book, one of us should definitely read and review before the release of the movie on Friday. I was happy to bite this particular bullet, I’m a big John Green fan and frankly my brain was happy for a break from trash. Just a tiny break, not an all night break.

It had been probably a year since I finished my last Green book, An Abundance of Katherines, and I had forgotten what a good writer he is. Witty, funny, deeper than your average YA book, great characters who feel fully fleshed out. If you only know him from The Fault in Our Stars, consider this me urging you to dig a little deeper into his catalog. Augustus Waters is really the least charming of John Green’s book boys.

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Drinking at the Movies: Magic Mike XXL

Grade: A

Doing it at: It is with great sadness that we report that there is no doing it in XXL

Catnip: Male Strippers, Road Trip, Bros Bro’ing Out; Pony

Shame Scale: Mild mild shame, this was a really entertaining movie and we certainly aren’t alone in our glee about seeing these boys in thongs. Objectification is a two way street.

Cast: Channing Tatum, Joe Mangiello, Matt Bomer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donald Glover

Cleone: Lets kick this off by saying Magic Mike XXL was way more fun that the first Magic Mike, which took itself very seriously and tried to be a capital F Film.

Mary: Yes, it was quite a relief that the whole movie was about getting to a stripper convention and what are we going to dance???, and not about Magic Mike’s personal hopes and dreams of becoming a furniture maker. There was a tiny bit of existential angst, but mostly it was just stripper stuff. BTW, this is a review in a sense that we’re going to tell you everything that happens in the movie, so if you don’t like spoilers and think they would ruin this movie for you (they won’t, we promise!), you probably should go ahead and X out of this.

C: Our boy Magic Mike has got his furniture company up and running when XXL opens, he’s hard at work building and delivering, and trying to figure out how to make enough money to offer health insurance to his sole employee. Everything in his world is very staid and grown up when he gets a call from his stripper boys saying they’re going to be in town.

M: For a wake. Dallas died. (Matthew McConaughey’s character from MM regular size)

Just kidding! When Mike shows up at a motel (???) for the wake, it turns out the wake is actually a pool party. Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello – Pittsburgh’s finest WHAT!) drops his towel to show us all his glorious ass, and throws Mike in the pool. Can we get a gif for this? Internet help please?

C: Matt Bomer’s abs are incredibly distracting. Ditto with Tatum’s arms, but my eyes are literally drawn to Bomer’s abs every time they’re on screen. The man must be doing 1000 crunches a day like 90’s era Britney. He’s also just extremely pretty. Mary and I kind of whisper talked about this for a few minutes.

bomer boner

M: “Whisper talked” LOL. Those abs tho. I feel like we missed at least 5 minutes of plot. I even made a note about them in our movie notebook. Please excuse my penmanship, it was really dark in there.

magic mike

C: The boys are traveling to the annual stripper convention in Myrtle Beach over July 4th weekend, one last ride since Dallas has left the country to start some sort of Chinese male strip show — this seems character accurate — and he took Alex Pettyfer’s character with him. We aren’t sad about this.

M: Right. Dallas isn’t dead, but he’s dead to them. There’s a bit of plot in here about what they all want to do with their lives now, and how they want this last convention to end their stripper male entertainer careers in a “tsunami of dollar bills.” But Matt Bomer was just lounging there on the bed the whole time with no shirt on, so the details are a little hazy.

C: Tarzan might have fed Mike false information to get him there, but they really want Mike to join up with him and come dance his pants off for the adoring ladies one last time. The adoring ladies in the audience want this to happen too. We weren’t even the loudest people in the theater. That’s never happened before and it was fantastic. Mary and I want to invite the ladies from two rows behind us to ALWAYS sit two rows behind us.

C: Mike tells the guys he can’t because he’s got this serious life now, but then later when he’s making furniture Spotify tempts him with the greatest song known to man:

pony cant't fight it

C: XXL is really a road trip movie, and possibly my new favorite road trip movie of all time, replacing the highly underrated teen masterpiece Shag. The boys are adorably bro-y and happy to have Mike back on their fro-yo bus. That’s right the fro-yo bus that Tito is going to use to start his artisnal fro-yo business. I’m not going to lie, his flavors sound really good and he’s cute so I’d be at his truck every day.

M: Everyone is happy that is, except Ken (Matt Bomer). He’s looking awfully salty (Spoiler – he’s mad that Mike abandoned them to follow his Dreams, and later Mike takes a dick punch to make amends). I only mention it because this was one of the tiny threads of plot they threw in to make this movie deeper.

C: Along the way the boys stop at a drag show and end up on stage, shaking their asses and winning $400 in coke dusted bills. Afterwards they end up at a beach party, where Mike meets this movie’s love interest, Zoe, the surly, hipster photographer played by Amber Heard. Mary and I aren’t fans. NAF (when I worked in social work I had a coworker who hated a particular consumer, so every time I typed up a letter for him I put NAF in there somewhere to give her a little passive aggressive joy).

M: Zoe was a wet blanket. I’m not really sure what the point of her character was, since there was no doing it in this movie (D- for doing it, because there was no D). She shows up every 20 minutes or so to act like that obnoxious art student girl you knew in college who is super arty and above everything. Not really the heroine we wanted in a stripper movie. Possibly the heroine we deserved for going to see this though.

C: The guys decide to all take Molly on their second day of driving, I’ve never done it but they seem to be enjoying it, and this leads to a hilariously adorable conversation about their feelings and dreams and how they should all do new dances that truly represent their inner male entertainer. Big Dick Ritchie isn’t a fireman, he’s scared of fire! Which is how we get the best scene in the whole movie, and the best movie scene in a convenience store of all time (Sorry Clerks):

bdr gas station

M: Even if this movie had been terrible, and it wasn’t – we really had fun watching it, I’d still say that it was worth it for Joe Manganiello’s convenience store dance.

C: The molly also makes them wreck the fro-yo truck. The dark side of drugs!!

M: I also feel like I need to confess, this is about the point where C asked me who the actor was playing Tarzan, and I was all, “DUH, it’s Mickey Rourke.” It isn’t. It’s Kevin Nash. I know, I KNOW. In my defense, he looks like this for most of the movie, and I don’t think he had taken off his sunglasses yet:

Kevin nash

C: Now they need help, because they have no car and no emcee, so Mike takes the crew to this amazing male stripper pleasure house run by Jada Pinkett Smith, who is tiny and Does Not Age. Seriously she looks fantastic.


C: Her stripper hive is AMAZING, this movie was written 100% for the female view. Its all about ladies being Queens and men being objects who are there to ask a woman what she wants and give it to them. If this was a real place in our town, Mary and I would be there once a month, making it rain our meager dollar bills. We wondered how they get all the dollar bills picked up there, they have to just like sweep that cash up with a broom.

M: Actually, C – in Joe Manganiello’s documentary, La Bare, there’s a guy who’s entire job is to work the fog machine and pick up the dollar bills and put them into a walmart bag. And if you haven’t seen La Bare yet (CLEONE), you really should check it out. It’s definitely my favorite documentary, all about these sad, douchey male strippers with visions of grandeur. In Real Life, male strippers aren’t like these beautiful movie strippers, sadly.

C: Jada’s Rome is the lucky employer of the absolutely adorable Donald Glover wearing the cutest outfit ever:

donald glover mmxxl

M: You can’t see it, but that suit has the most fabulous sheen, almost like black lamé. With his little abs? And his little hat?

C: When they arrived at the cat house, Mary said she hoped Donald Glover was going to be there and I thought she meant Danny Glover and I was so confused because he probably feels like he’s too old for that shit.

M: At least you didn’t mistakenly think you were staring at Mickey Rourke for 45 minutes.

C: Rome also talks Mike into dancing to prove he’s sorry for past transgressions? I wasn’t entirely clear on the motivations here, there was whiskey in my cherry vanilla coke and nothing but pretty boys on screen, I can’t be blamed!

M: I actually caught that part. Rome and Mike “had a thing,” which ended when Mike took his first job stripping, and she locked him out of the house. They’ve got unfinished business between them, which pretty much just means sexual tension. Mike proves whatever he needs to prove to her by doing some amazing stripper acrobatics and making all the women shower him in dollar bills like a broken ATM machine. Literally. They’re just holding stacks of money and flicking them off the top, over Mike’s beautiful body. Also note: Mike only strips off his shirt, to our great disappointment. There is no pants removal in this scene.

C: The next stop on our magical mystery tour is to spend the night with some girl that Tito met at the beach party (by met assume we mean banged). The girl is there, and so is her cougar mom played by Andie MacDowell, drinking fancy wine with her cougar friends and lamenting that she has only ever known one penis her entire life. That’s a super valid thing to be sad about, but is this really how moms talk in front of their daughters?

Matt Bomer sings, its incredibly cute. Big Dick Ritchie wonders if maybe Andie MacDowelll is his glass slipper of vaginas who can take his big dick whole, and Mike discovers that grumpy girl is also there. Still being emo and not particularly charming. Maybe mean girls are his thing?

M: Mike follows Zoe into the kitchen, where she’s sitting on the counter eating directly off of a practically whole red velvet cake, and this really bothered me. Who does that? It’s incredibly rude. There was only like one slice missing, presumably someone else planned on eating some of that cake. Why not just put a slice on a plate? She confesses that she’s upset because someone told her she’s a shitty photographer and she’s not going to NYC now, and for fucksake can we stop trying to make plot happen in this thing?

C: The movie has just been kind of meandering along, in a very fun way, but the boys finally arrive in Myrtle Beach after the cougars nest to find Rome, Donald Glover, and Mike’s new stripper best friend Twitch waiting for them. They get down to training. I love a good putting on  a show montage.

M: The montage is so fun, you guys. They’re all sewing costumes and working on their dance routines. Big Dick Richie is even doing some set construction, which probably should have been Mike’s job because, you know, he build’s furniture for a living? But anyways, they’re all getting down to business, having a good time, being bro-y, and working on their stripper stuff.

C: The big stripping extravaganza closes out the movie. Its fantastic. The loud girls behind us were going nuts and the screenwriter deserves some sort of giving the fans exactly what they want award. Minus the part where there was no doin’ it, but at least all the boys took their pants off. PANTS OFF DANCE OFF.


my pony

high five

M: Mike and Twitch do a fantastic “mirror” routine, and finally, we get some tear-away pants! Zoe is in the audience, so Mike uses her as his chair girl, and she finally smiles! That’s the resolution of this romance, yawn.

Also, I think that if there really is a giant male stripper convention each year, it’s definitely something C and I should probably road trip to. Some research is in order.

C: XXL was a lot of fun. We are endorsing it strongly, and think ladies nights are in order for all our bitches. Take a flask, be loud, ogle some abs.

Badass: A Stepbrother SEAL Romance, by Linda Barlow & Alana Albertson


Grade: D+

Doing it at: 11%

Catnip: One Night Stand; Alpha; Motorcycles; Stepsiblings: Not Quite Incest; Mexico; Road Trip; Not Really That Forbidden To Be Honest; Dual Narrative; Men in Uniform; But it was 99 cents

Shame Scale: The cover is maybe less shameful than the actual writing in this one.

Fantasy Cast: Jeremy Renner and Lindsay Lohan

What do we taste like: She tasted sweet and spicy, like cinnamon and chocolate

Book Description:

I f**ked a SEAL—the human kind, the kind who shoots terrorists, sports rock hard abs and tattooed biceps, and scores an easy lay with every girl he ever wants.

I should’ve known better. I should be studying harbor seals’ native habits, not conducting my own research into mating rituals of the Navy variety.

He’s a jackass. A bad boy. An arrogant, womanizing, patronizing, Harley-riding jerk.

A one-night stand. One night of the most incredible sex I’ve ever had. Shane is trained to kill with his bare hands in 300 different ways—and he knows 300 ways to f**k me, too.

Now my father is engaged to his mother. And we’re heading to Mexico for the wedding. He’s threatening to ruin their big day if I don’t surrender to his demands.

Quit is not in his vocabulary. I hate him, but I know he’ll never give up until he gets everything he wants.

Screw that! I won’t give up—I’ll never submit to America’s cockiest badass.

I had just read three books in a row that gave me serious feels (About Last Night, Beautiful Secret, and a joint Ugly Love reread with Mary) and I wanted something light and trashy and strictly fun. You might have noticed that the Shame Girls like Stepbrother romances and when this one popped up for 99 cents, I added it to the library with the message to Mary and Paperback Purist that we DESERVE this. Maybe my hopes were too high, but this book let me down.

Cassie is down on the beach, admiring sea lions in their natural habitats, because she’s a marine biology student (she has a brain, guys, don’t forget it) and admiring the cocky guy who is about to do a night dive on his lonesome. She sees a baby sea lion who appears to be in distress and after realizing he has a piece of plastic wrapped around his neck wades in to save him. Shane sees her messing around with the baby and notices that a very angry mama sea lion is headed towards her. He rushes in, throws her over his shoulder and spirits her to shore. We’ve switched to his perspective and he’s immediately in cave man speak over Cassie, he wants to plow her plump ass and watch her red hair spill around his dick while she sucks it. So, in a not at all douche move, he tells her that he won’t report her to the marine animal police or what have you as long as she fucks him. And Cassie agrees to this with very very little outrage because he’s hot and he told her to, I guess.

I’d seen marine animals go into a mating frenzy — sharks went nuts sometimes– violent fucking that left blood in the water. If he– what did he say his name was, Shane? — if Shane was a shark, then I was a goner, because I needed that fat, hard dick inside me in the worst way.

Shane and Cassie go back to his apartment and have a lot of sex. With a break between rounds two and three for a burger at the local dive bar. Cassie leaves before morning, and Shane goes off to the Middle East with his SEAL squad (I don’t know if squad is the right term, but go with it) for nine months.

Cassie had left him her number, hopefully, and is pissed that he never called. She wished she could forget him , but the sex was so hot that she can not get him out her head. And her dating life isn’t so hopping since she’s so busy in school learning about whales and coral reefs and such. But her Dad’s love life is on point and he asks her to come to fancy dinner with him, his new girlfriend, and her son who is just back from a tour in the Middle East. Cassie had no clue he was a SEAL and was pretty shocked when Shane shows up to dinner. With a shitty attitude towards their parents and some heavy innuendo towards her.

Why Shane has this giant chip on his shoulder and thinks that everyone looks down on him, I could not figure out. Are elite military servicemen considered to be bad guys? Do fathers really not want their daughters marrying the patriotic gents fighting for our country? This is ‘Murica! When Cassie’s dad and Shane’s mom announce they’re getting married in Baja it doesn’t go over well and Cassie tells Shane they can never have sex again because they’re going to be stepsiblings. Again, I do not get this line of thinking. They’re in their twenties, they weren’t raised together, this isn’t incestuous. But, whatever she’s striving to be unanimous in this, and he’s all “the only way I will play nice and go to this wedding is if we go together and you be my sex slave the whole way down.” And Cassie is all “SIGH. YOLO. PUT IT IN ME.”

The actual trip to Baja took some seriously unexpected turns. I was imagining it would just be lots of sex, tenderness turning into love, and their parents accepting that their kids had also found true love. Maybe even a double wedding on a Mexican beach for good measure. Way crazier stuff than that happened. There’s a lot of action and if stepsibling romances are your thing I don’t want to spoil it for you, because this may not be the best book ever but its trashy and fun with plenty of sex. And that might be just your bag, baby. However, I do want to share two amazing (non ruining) quotes out of this one:

If I ran out I could hold my breath for five minutes – a useful skill for stalking pirates. Also came in handy when eating pussy.

Swoon. Our Real American Hero.

I had an idea for a present for Cassie – my dick in a box.

And a Lonely Island fan! What’s not to like?