Wrecking Balls by Joe Giambrone Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Friends become rivals in the cutthroat world of stand-up comedy in author Joe Giambrone’s Wrecking Balls. Here’s the synopsis:

Set in the world of stand-up comedy, Charleston and Gary are on the verge of comic greatness: broke, wasted, and floundering through life. As Charleston turns 30 he faces an existential crisis. His comedy career in the gutter, he considers leaving the life. That is until Gary pilfers one of his joke ideas. Then it’s comedy Jihad to the death, and there can be only one. 

Reviews: 

“A fun read, J. Giambrone has a talent for edgy humor, emotional baggage and quirky characters.” 

-Tome Tender Book Blog 

“I laughed, cringed, and overall found it a fast and enjoyable read… I’m so happy this book fell into my hands. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good laugh. You won’t be disappointed.” 

-Theresa on Goodreads

Now a fair amount of warning for this book: this is not a book meant for the faint of heart. Geared towards an adult audience, expect a lot of strong language and jokes that some might consider offensive. However one thing that I think is tackled well in this story is what should and shouldn’t be considered inappropriate in our society. There are definitely areas that don’t need to be joked about or made light of, and there are some areas of comedy that come across as abusive or offensive in today’s world. However there are times where our need to find and root out social injustices go too far, and a crude yet simple joke could be twisted into a far more sinister thing than it originally was. This novel explores that a lot yet without making it obvious that it does so.

The novel itself is filled with a great insight into the minds of not only comedians or competitive people in general, but into the minds of those who are so desperate to be remembered that they are willing to do anything to get there. The surprising thing about this book is just how vicious the rivalry gets between the two friends. The author does a great job of mixing the war games between the two comedians with a helpful dose of character development, as we get brief glimpses into aspects of Charleston’s character that a lot of people will be able to identify with. Most notably we witness a man who begins to question the path he put himself on. A man who begins to wonder whether his dreams and all the work he’s put towards said dream are enough to win the day, or if it was all for nothing. We’ve all been in that headspace before, and it’s interesting to see this character wrestle with that kind of mind game while fighting for comedic glory in his professional life.

Overall this was an enjoyable read. A must read for any adult readers out there interested in the behind the scenes aspect of stand up comedy, be prepared for a sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic and often vulgar filled adventure. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Joe Giambrone’s Wrecking Balls today!

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073HQYKHP/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B073HQYKHP&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Joe Giambrone

j.giambrone@live.com

 http://www.joegiambrone.us

Blog:

https://jgiambrone.wordpress.com

@joegiambrone

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Book Blitz: Better Than This by Author Tia Souders

 

Better Than This
By: Tia Souders

Releasing February 13th, 2018
Clean Reads

Blurb

What can keep a dream alive?

 

Before the car accident that changed everything, Samantha Becker was a happy and loved little girl. Ten years later, Sam, now 18, lives under a dark cloud—largely ignored by an alcoholic mother who never recovered from her loss and ruled by an overbearing father who blames Samantha for the family tragedy. And yet, the troubled teenager has a dream that keeps her going, and an extraordinary musical talent that could take her all the way to Julliard…and far beyond.

 

Following her heart, however, means defying her father, who has his own plans for his daughter’s future.  Then, in the wake of another devastating personal catastrophe, her dream is irreparably shattered, and in her pain and anger, Samantha acts out recklessly. But her salvation could come from a most unlikely trio: a handsome college student, a hopeful little boy…and an older neighbor woman whose caring and secrets will change Sam’s world forever.

 

A powerfully moving addition to the ranks of superior YA fiction, Better Than This by Tia Souders joins Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, the novels of John Green, and other prime examples of contemporary teen literature.  Souders tells the heartbreaking, yet ultimately transcendent story of 18-year-old Samantha, whose remarkable musical abilities could be her escape from a family devastated by tragedy and steeped in guilt, sadness, and recrimination. But when a terrible accident seems to destroy her dreams for the future, Sam discovers a new path forward and new hope when she becomes involved with a remarkable young boy and his grandmother, a caring older neighbor who guards a secret that will change the troubled teenager’s life forever.

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Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37930697-better-than-this

Buy Links:    Amazon

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078WW6L5X

 

 

Author Info

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Tia Souders is the author of bestselling women’s fiction novel, Waiting On Hope and the upcoming award-winning young adult novel Better Than This (formerly titled Freedom Road). When she isn’t writing, she’s likely renovating their century home. She’s a wine-loving, coffeeholic, with a sweet tooth and resides on a farm in rural Ohio with her husband and children.

 

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | FB Street TeamInstagram

Website:  http://www.tiasouders.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tiasoudersauthor/

Facebook Group/Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/359632431141710/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/tia.s.writes/

 

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Excerpt

My mother crashed into the kitchen, knocking over the wine glasses nestled on the hutch. Mumbling something incomprehensible, along with accusations that someone rearranged the furniture, she stumbled and fell. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the raised knife poised again above the apple.

My father said I shifted my hand on the island, distracted by my mother. A totally plausible explanation—if it were true.

My eyes widened as I stared down at the halved fruit, now drenched in my blood. The pain came in startling, pulsing waves until my entire hand felt as though it was engulfed in flames.

My heart threatened to crash through my chest, as I struggled to comprehend what happened. I vaguely recalled screaming in the background. Where it came from, I’m still unsure. Possibly me, or my mother. I barely noticed my father’s panicked voice as it rang in my ears, nor did I feel it when he squeezed the dish towel over my hand.

I don’t recall moving. I don’t remember speaking or moaning in pain. All I remembered is the sight of the blood-stained cloth shifting, noting the missing finger, and thinking This is my fretting hand.

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Interview with Tom Starita

I had the pleasure to speak with author Tom Starita, author of the book “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated”. Check out some of the amazing things he had to share with us.

1) What was your inspiration for Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated?
A) We’re going way back to the weekend before Valentine’s Day in 2013. It was the lowest point of my entire life. I was alone and I had the flu. Not just the flu, like the worst flu in the history of modern medicine. I’m actually in the Weehawken Journal of Medicine because my strain was so rare and severe. 

 

When I finally awoke from a three-day coma late Friday night I was starving. I looked outside my bedroom window and saw eight inches of snow. No big deal. The falling snow looked straight out of a Bob Ross painting and as I gazed out I appreciated the beauty of the situation. I leaned forward to appreciate the beauty even more and saw my car had been buried by the plow. 

 

I would not be going out for food. 

 

No matter, I wasn’t in any condition to drive so I made my way to the kitchen to find a takeout menu. I began dialing the Chinese place on the corner when I noticed the time on my microwave said 11:30pm, thus killing my dream of takeout.

 

Okay, okay, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not the best of cooks and I’m not in the mood to cook but I was starving so I opened my fridge and found the absence of food. I looked in the freezer and found empty ice cube trays. I opened cabinets and found shadows where boxes once stood. At that moment I realized I had hit rock bottom. I was sick, alone and in danger of starving to death.

 

I also realized that this would be a great way to start a book! So I dragged my decaying body to the computer and started typing. That’s when Lucas James’ voice appeared crystal clear in my mind and I just kept typing.
2) What would you say is Lucas James biggest driving force in this book? 
A) Himself. He has one long term goal, rock n roll immortality and is blind to everything else. That means he has no short term goals other than attaining his one long term goal. That means he lives hour to hour, day to day figuring out how to turn whatever situation he’s in to his advantage.
3) What theme do you hope your book embodies to the readers?
A) That there are shitty people in this world and there’s nothing you can do to change that. Sometimes people fall into the trap of dating someone, or befriending someone who is toxic and will only bring doom and misery into your life. This book is about what happens when you don’t walk away from the doom.

OR if you’re an optimist…

It’s about trying to succeed at life, on your terms. Consequences be damned.
4) What inspired you to become an author?
A) I was seduced by the thought of being paid to make things up. Anyone can be a liar, but a professional liar? That’s something.
5) If you could sit down for a meal or drink with Lucas James, what would you ask him?
A) That’s a great question! First of all I would know in advance that I’m paying. If I wanted to act high and mighty I would ask him if he realizes the damage he causes to the people who care for him? Of course that would lead him to get defensive and the dinner would end right then and there.

If I wanted to shoot the breeze with him I’d ask what’s the first thing he’ll do when he officially becomes a rock god.
6) What social media tool or site has been the most beneficial to building a readership?
A) Facebook has been my best friend. It’s an easy way to connect with people and convince them to like my author page for updates. *cough* @TomStarita* cough
7) What advice would you give to any aspiring writers out there?
A) That you have chosen the hardest path for survival and to have a backup plan. That success is limited and victories are fleeting. But the moment you hold something that you created in your hands is one of the best feelings in life. You’re guaranteed to live forever.
8) What are your future plans? Any new books on the horizon?
A) My current plans are to do anything and everything to introduce Lucas James to the world. After that it’s see where the tide takes me. I have ideas that are percolating around right now but nothing imminent. I think the next goal is to write a script. When I’m on my deathbed I’d love to know that I wrote books, created a cartoon, putzed around a podcast and wrote a movie. 

I just want to end this by saying that my sister recently came down with a nasty cough. She went to the doctors and was told that antibiotics wouldn’t work in a situation like this. It’s too far deep into the metacurlis lining of the lungs. Obviously my sister was upset and asked if antibiotics wouldn’t work what would? He placed her chart down on the counter, took a deep breath and removed his glasses.

This made my sister even more nervous.

“Tell me doctor. What can we do?” He looked her dead in the eyes and said,

“Your brother has to make the New York Times Best Seller’s List for his book, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated.”

If you don’t want to buy my book I understand. It might not be for everyone. But think of my poor sister. Coughing. Buy my book for her.

Please?
Check out the Review Here!