Leah's Bookish Obsession

Leah's Bookish Obsession

I'm a work in progress, I think I'll always be...

 

 Spoiler-free, and smaller, pocket-sized reviews.

All my ratings start at 5 Stars and go down from there.  Because every book deserves to start out at the top.

Halloween Bingo 2018 Update #7

My 9th Book Read is for Ghost Stories

 

 

Book Read/Listened:  Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

 

My 10th Book Read is for Creepy Carnivals

 

 

Book Read/Listened:  Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven

 

 

Since I'm kind of a perfectionist, I made 3 different cards for each Called, Read, & Bingo.

 

 

My Bingo Card

 

 

 

SQUARES CALLED:


9/1- Classic Horror (not on my card)
9/3- Cryptozoologist (not on my card)
9/5- Cozy Mystery

9/7- New Release

9/9- Southern Gothic

9/11- Terrifying Women

9/13- A Grimm Tale

9/15- Modern Masters of Horror (not on my card)

9/17- Creepy Carnivals

9/19- Relics and Curiosities

 

 

MY BOOKS READ, NOT CALLED:

 

1~ The Swan & the Jackal by JA Redmerski (Romantic Suspense)

2~ Sea Witch by Sarah Henning (Fear the Drowning Deep)

3~ Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Ghost Stories)

 

 

MY BOOKS CALLED AND READ:

 

Free Space:  Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

New Release:  Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Cozy Mystery:  A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder by Julie Anne Lindsey

Terrifying Women:  City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

A Grimm Tale:  

All the Ever After's: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

Southern Gothic:  Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter

Creepy Carnivals:  Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven

 

 

 

Review
5 Stars
Fantastic narration sets this horror-if-ic story apart from the others...
FantasticLand - Mike Bockoven

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Fantasticland

Mike Bockoven

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Since the 1970s, FantasticLand has been the theme park where “Fun is Guaranteed!” But when a hurricane ravages the Florida coast and isolates the park, the employees find it anything but fun. Five weeks later, the authorities who rescue the survivors encounter a scene of horror. Photos soon emerge online of heads on spikes outside of rides and viscera and human bones littering the gift shops, breaking records for hits, views, likes, clicks, and shares. How could a group of survivors, mostly teenagers, commit such terrible acts?

 

Presented as a fact-finding investigation and a series of first-person interviews, FantasticLand pieces together the grisly series of events. Park policy was that the mostly college-aged employees surrender their electronic devices to preserve the authenticity of the FantasticLand experience. Cut off from the world and left on their own, the teenagers soon form rival tribes who viciously compete for food, medicine, social dominance, and even human flesh. This new social network divides the ravaged dreamland into territories ruled by the Pirates, the ShopGirls, the Freaks, and the Mole People. If meticulously curated online personas can replace private identities, what takes over when those constructs are lost?

FantasticLand is a modern take on Lord of the Flies meets Battle Royale that probes the consequences of a social civilization built online.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Luke Daniels has essentially become my favorite male narrator after listening to this.  He and Angela Dawe were phenomenal.  They narrated several characters between the two of them, giving each voice its own sound.  Daniels did the majority of them.  He had different accents, inflections…this felt like it was a full-cast narration.

 

Fantasticland asks the question…what would a few hundred young adults do when completely cut-off from their phones and social media accounts and with no one left to tell them what to do…It's outlandish that something of this magnitude would happen, but it's laid out in a very real, very plausible way.  Seriously, this totally freaked me out, on several levels.  It was so intense and scary…if I was ever in a position to have to evacuate because of a hurricane…I'd be out.  Especially, after listening to this.

 

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~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5+/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ …on a horror scale, I'll give it a 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5

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Book Cover~ It's perfect.  (Although a giant question mark laying on the ground would've been better…)

Narration~ 5+ for Angela Dawe & Luke Daniels

Setting~ Fantasticland Theme Park, Florida

Source~ I own Audible Audiobook

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I used this for Creepy Carnivals Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

Review
4 Stars
Picking the right narrator makes all the difference...
Anna Dressed in Blood  - Kendare Blake

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~BOOK BLURB~

Anna Dressed in Blood

Kendare Blake

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Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

 

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

 

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

 

Yet she spares Cas's life.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Plot-wise this has all the right elements, Anna is a fairly kick-ass ghost and despite how terrifying she is, you still end up liking her.  Especially after you hear the story of how she died.  Nevertheless, I still felt that it was missing something…maybe it's just me…or maybe it was due to the narrator.  When he did other peoples voices he was not so bad, but when he did the voice of Cas the MC, (which was his normal voice) he delivered his lines with very little emotion and it left me feeling disconnected from the story most of the time.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.7STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Characters~ 3.8/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.7/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's quite striking…

Narration~ 2 for August Ross

Series~ Anna #1

Setting~ Thunder Bay, Ontario

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for Ghost Stories Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

Halloween Bingo Update #6

My Eighth Square read is Southern Gothic:

 

 

 

Book read/listened Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter

 

 

Since I'm kind of a perfectionist, I made 3 different cards for each Called, Read, & Bingo.

 

 

 

My Bingo Card

 

/

 

SQUARES CALLED:


9/1- Classic Horror (not on my card)
9/3- Cryptozoologist (not on my card)
9/5- Cozy Mystery

9/7- New Release

9/9- Southern Gothic

9/11- Terrifying Women

9/13- A Grimm Tale

9/15- Modern Masters of Horror (not on my card)

 

 

MY BOOKS READ, NOT CALLED:

 

1~ The Swan & the Jackal by JA Redmerski (Romantic Suspense)

2~ Sea Witch by Sarah Henning (Fear the Drowning Deep)

 

 

MY BOOKS CALLED AND READ:

 

Free Space:  Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

New Release:  Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Cozy Mystery:  A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder by Julie Anne Lindsey

Terrifying Women:  City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

A Grimm Tale:  

All the Ever After's: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

Southern Gothic:  Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter

 

Review
2 Stars
Well, at least I got my Southern Gothic Square checked off by forcing myself through this.
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls - Clara Emily Carpenter

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~BOOK BLURB~

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Emily Carpenter

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Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Ugh!  I tried to get into this, but I just couldn't.  I read a couple other books by this Author and really liked them.  So, what gives?  First and foremost we learn early on, that all the women in her family going back a few generations have suddenly become schizophrenic on their 30th birthday.  I really couldn't buy into this scenario, and it pretty much made it impossible for me to like the rest of the story.  This could also be why I didn't connect with the characters, no matter how hard I tried.  All of them came off as pretty unlikable, and I couldn't care less about their fates.  Lastly, I can't stress enough how important it is to have a different narrator for each characters POV, because I couldn't distinguish between Althea and Jinn's characters, and I was left confused most of the time.

 

Overall, a lackluster mystery for me with an equally lackluster ending.  But I might be in the minority with these feelings...there are lots of great reviews for this, after all.

 

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~MY RATING~

2STARS - GRADE=D

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 1.5/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 2/5

Theme or Tone~ 2/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Ending~ 2/5

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Book Cover~ Meh…it's underwhelming for sure.

Narration~ ☆3 for Kate Orsini…she was okay, but she should have used a different variation of her voice for each of the MC's.

Setting~ Alabama

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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I used this for Southern Gothic Square in Halloween Bingo

 

Halloween Bingo Update #5

My Seventh Square read is Fear the Drowning Deep:

 

 

Book Read/Listened Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

 

 

Since I'm kind of a perfectionist, I made 3 different cards for each Called, Read, & Bingo.

 

 

 

My Bingo Card (notice how I have one in each column...)

 

 

 

 

 

SQUARES CALLED:


9/1- Classic Horror (not on my card)
9/3- Cryptozoologist (not on my card)
9/5- Cozy Mystery

9/7- New Release

9/9- Southern Gothic

9/11- Terrifying Women

9/13- A Grimm Tale

 

 

MY BOOKS READ, NOT CALLED:

 

1~ The Swan & the Jackal by JA Redmerski (Romantic Suspense)

2~ Sea Witch by Sarah Henning (Fear the Drowning Deep)

 

 

 

Free Space:  Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

New Release:  Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Cozy Mystery:  A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder by Julie Anne Lindsey

Terrifying Women:  City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

A Grimm Tale:  

All the Ever After's: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

 

 

Review
3.5 Stars
The fairy tale you thought you knew...The story of the Sea Witch, the villainess from Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale The Little Mermaid.
Sea Witch - Sarah Henning

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Sea Witch

Sarah Henning

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Ever since her best friend Anna died, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. Hiding her talents, mourning her loss, drowning in her guilt.

Then a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears on the shore, and the two girls catch the eyes of two charming princes. Suddenly Evie feels like she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But magic isn’t kind, and her new friend harbors secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad—or on two legs—without Evie’s help. And when Evie reaches deep into the power of her magic to save her friend’s humanity—and her prince’s heart—she discovers, too late, what she’s bargained away.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This wasn't exactly what I was expecting…at first its girls dancing with boys and "wouldn't it be fun if we got together with cousins, what fun we would have, oh la".  Ugh.  There was a little bit of darkness and witchiness lurking in the story at that point.  Then about 60% into it…BAM…the story takes a twist down the dark & nasty…

 

Overall that turn made this, by far, a better story than it was shaping up to be.  So if your willing to hang in there through the less than worthwhile parts of the story, I think it will end up being a mostly satisfying read, as long as you don't pick apart its inconsistencies. And especially, if you like the Little Mermaid, although it's more of a backstory than a retelling.

 

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~MY RATING~

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.8/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Well…

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Book Cover~ It's super gorgeous…love it.

Narration~ 3.5 for Billie Fulford-Brown, she was okay…I just had a difficult time with her accent.

Setting~ Havnestad, Denmark

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for Fear the Drowning Deep Square in Halloween Bingo

 

Review
3.5 Stars
My very first cozy mystery...
A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder - Julie Anne Lindsey

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder

Julie Ann Lindsey

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IT manager Mia Connors is up to her tortoiseshell glasses in technical drama when a glitch in the Horseshoe Falls email system disrupts security and sends errant messages to residents of the gated community. The snafu's timing couldn't be worse—Renaissance Faire season is in full swing and Mia's family's business relies on her presence.

Mia doesn't have time to hunt down a computer hacker. Her best friend has disappeared, and she finds another of her friends murdered—in her office. When the hunky new head of Horseshoe Falls security identifies Mia as the prime suspect, her anxiety level registers on the Richter scale.

Eager to clear her name, Mia moves into action to locate her missing buddy and find out who killed their friend. But her quick tongue gets her into trouble with more than the new head of security. When Mia begins receiving threats, the killer makes it clear that he's closer than she'd ever imagined.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Cozy Mysteries are not really my cuppa…and I'm probably not the best one to judge this type of book.  But overall this ended up being not so bad.  The first half did kind of drag and did feel a little too sickly sweet…but once the mystery started getting closer to being solved, I started getting into it more.  I even lol'd a few times.  I can see why others would like this genre of mystery…it's probably perfect for someone who doesn't like a lot of graphic gore and sexy type scenes.

 

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Characters~ 4.3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~ 2.8/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.5/5

Ending~ 3.8/5 Cliffhanger~ a "to be continued"…

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Book Cover~ I like it.

Series~ Geek Girl Mysteries #1

Setting~ Horseshoe Falls

Source~ Kindle eBook (Library)

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I used this for Cozy Mystery Square in Halloween Bingo (Duh...)

 

Review
4.5 Stars
Land of the Lost for the modern times...
City of the Lost - Kelley Armstrong

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~BOOK BLURB~

City of the Lost

Kelley Armstrong

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Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a domestic violence support town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want; she's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding - in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This is my first Kelley Armstrong book…I've never read any of her paranormal stuff of which she is well known for.  Her writing in this was easy to listen to and her characters were easy to root for.  Especially, Casey…she kind of rocks.  I wish I could have gotten with who she chooses to be her love interest more, but I was left liking the other guy…I think it may have been the voice that Therese Plummer chose for him, I just didn't really care for it.

 

City of the Lost is a "city" out in the Yukon, somewhere between Alaska and Canada I believe, that is sort of like it's own little commune, minus the religion.  The people go there to live and get away from their problems in the real world, whether it's an abusive ex or a crime they've committed, they are all running from something or someone.  They even pay money for the privilege of going there to live.  I never really understood where the money goes to, some sort of council that doesn't even live there…sounds fairly sketchy to me.  But otherwise, a worthwhile and fascinating story, with everything from possible cannibals, wild dogs, cats, grizzlies and a red fox; to drinking, drugs, casual sex and oh-so-much more.  Including some unforeseen twists that will have you reeling.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4.3/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4/5  Cliffhanger~ Not really…

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Book Cover~ It's okay…

Narration~ 4.5 for Therese Plummer, she does so many different voices very well.

Series~ Rockton #1

Setting~ Rockton, Canada

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for my Terrifying Women Square on Halloween Bingo

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo Update #4

My Fifth Square Read is:

 

 

 

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

 

 My Sixth Square Read Is:

 

 

A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder by Julie Anne Lindsey

 

 

Since I'm kind of a perfectionist, I made 3 different cards for each Read, Called & Bingo.

 

 

Bingo Card

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOKS CALLED:


9/1- Classic Horror (not on my card)
9/3- Cryptozoologist (not on my card)
9/5- Cozy Mystery

9/7- New Release

9/9- Southern Gothic

 

 

MY BOOKS READ, NOT CALLED:

 

1~ The Swan & the Jackal by JA Redmerski (Romantic Suspense)

2~ All the Ever After's: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller (A Grimm Tale)

3~ City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong (Terrifying Women)

 

 

BOOKS CALLED & READ:

 

Free Space:  Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

New Release:  Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Cozy Mystery:  A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder by Julie Anne Lindsey

 

 

 

 

 

Review
3.5 Stars
What not to do when you find something in the water...
Something in the Water - Catherine Steadman

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~BOOK BLURB~

Something In The Water

Catherine Steadman

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If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

 

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

 

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

 

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

 

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This has a killer start, like literally…and then segues into 3 months earlier…from there we get Erin's story of how she got to that point.  You start out knowing how it's going to end, but you're still left pondering throughout the story on how it could have gotten to that point.  The question is…does it all come together in a plausible way…my answer to that question is:  maybe, sort of... 

 

Either way, the story itself is quite entertaining, some of the decisions this couple make, either together or separately, are purely ludicrous.  They are sort of like a train wreck running full speed ahead.  The writing is a tad on the choppy side but this is narrated by the author herself and I think she does admiral job, she is an actress after all.  Who better to read your own words with the right inflection than you, yourself…

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.5/5 

Main Characters~ 3.3/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.5/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 3.8/5

Ending~ 3.5/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope

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Book Cover~  It's good…goes with the story.

Narration~ ☆4.5☆ for Catherine Steadman, she narrated her own book…she wasn't half bad.

Setting~ London, England and Bora Bora

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this book to fill my New Release Square for Halloween Bingo

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 Update #3

My 4th Square Read is for:

 

 

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

(lucky me...it was even called today)

 

 

 

 

Since I'm kind of a perfectionist, I made 3 different cards for each Read, Called & Bingo.

(I'm not sure, but I figured that the free space is basically like an automatic Call?  If I'm wrong, someone please let me know.) 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOKS CALLED:


9/1- Classic Horror (not on my card)
9/3- Cryptozoologist (not on my card)
9/5- Cozy Mystery

9/7- New Release

 

 

MY BOOKS READ, NOT CALLED:

 

1~ The Swan & the Jackal by JA Redmerski (Romantic Suspense)

2~ All the Ever After's: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

 

 

BOOKS CALLED & READ:

 

Free Space:  Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

New Release:  Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 Update #2

My 2nd square read is:

 

 

All the Ever After's: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

 

My 3rd square read is:

 

 

 

Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

 

 

Since I'm kind of a perfectionist, I made 3 different cards for each Read, Called & Bingo. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOKS CALLED:


9/1- Classic Horror (not on my card)
9/3- Cryptozoologist (not on my card)
9/5- Cozy Mystery

 

 

MY BOOKS READ, NOT CALLED:

 

1~ The Swan & the Jackal by JA Redmerski (Romantic Suspense)

2~ All the Ever After's: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

 

 

 

BOOKS CALLED & READ:

 

Free Space:  Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

 

 

 

Review
4.5 Stars
Any Man will do...{{{cringing}}}
Any Man - Amber Tamblyn

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~BOOK BLURB~

Any Man

Amber Tamblyn

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In this electric and provocative debut novel, Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture.

 

A violent serial rapist is on the loose, who goes by the name Maude. She hunts for men at bars, online, at home— the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must live the aftermath of their assault in the form of doubt from the police, feelings of shame alienation from their friends and family and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny. All the while the police are without leads and the media hound the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack.

 

What is extraordinary is how as years pass these men learn to heal, by banding together and finding a space to raise their voices. Told in alternating viewpoints signature to each voice and experience of the victim, these pages crackle with emotion, ranging from horror to breathtaking empathy.

 

As bold as it is timely, Any Man paints a searing portrait of survival and is a tribute to those who have lived through the nightmare of sexual assault.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I'm not a fan of poetry type prose and this is mostly written that way…It also has a lot of social media commentary, but its also super short, only about 4 1/2 hours on Audio, so not a deal breaker by any means.  Even so, this wrecked me.  This book is not only brutally scary, it's also so unbelievably intense and emotional.  I cried real tears. 

 

Ultimately, the message that Any Man imparts is what its all about, and something I won't likely forget.  For that reason alone this is must read or listen, if you like audiobooks, I definitely recommend the Audio version.  There is a total of 14 people, including the Author, who lend their voices to this story, making it all the more compelling.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 5+/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

For its Message~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.3/5

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Book Cover~ Plain but inviting.

Narration~ 4.5 for a full cast with Glenn Davis, Ben Foster, Marc Maron, Jason Ritter, John Roberts, Russ Tamblyn, Amber Tamblyn, January LaVoy, Phoebe Strole, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, & Michael Crouch.

Setting~ Various Cities, and the internet

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
4 Stars
Not the Cinderella story that you know...
 All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother - Danielle Teller

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~BOOK BLURB~

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother

Danielle Teller

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We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?

 

As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story…

 

A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Take the story of Cinderella and take out all the fantastical elements and you'll have an idea of what this story is about.  This is not fantasy…it's more like historical fiction.  This is all the harshness and unfairness of the medieval times with a Cinderella twist.  Told from the point of view of Agnes…the so-called wicked Step-mother.  Her story is decidedly poignant and I totally empathized with her.  Despite having some slow spots in the beginning, I thoroughly enjoyed this, and by the halfway point, I was totally invested. 

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.8/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 3.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 4.7/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's okay…

Narration~4 for Jane Copeland, was admirably done.

Setting~ Some sort of Shire and a royal court, it was hard to decipher.

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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Review
3.5 Stars
3.5 OUT OF 5 "HEY NONNY NONNY" STARS
Speak Easy, Speak Love - McKelle George

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Speak Easy, Speak Love

McKelle George

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Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

 

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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If my rating was solely based on the cover, this would easily be a Five-Star read.  Unfortunately, it can't be based solely on the cover.  I didn't know anything about Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing going into this, but I googled it and read a summary of it.  Basically, that just gave the underlying plot away...I'm not sure if it wise for me to have done that, though.  This was an adorably done and clever take on the era, with generally likable characters.  Although, it is possible she tried to work too many relevant elements from the 1920's into this one story.

 

Sadly, the writing was too difficult and disjointed for me to follow, especially with any kind of action depicted.  This slowed my reading time immensely and kept me from wanting to continue at times.  Despite all that, I did love the ending, when all the love matches came together and whatnot.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.5/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 2.7/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4.3/5

Ending~ 4.2/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~  It's so pretty…I quite love it.

Setting~ 1920's Long Island and surrounding New York area.

Source~ Kindle eBook (Library)

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currently reading

Progress: 57%
In a Handful of Dust - Mindy McGinnis
Professional Reader 80% 25 Book Reviews Flag Counter

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