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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-07-17 18:54
Book review : this lie will kill you Chelsea pitcher
This Lie Will Kill You - Chelsea Pitcher

July 8-17

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true.

Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.

Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all? 

Review : this book was crazy so after an event a year ago they are all brought to this mansion to solve a fake murder but are they really . When they discover they were brought here under false information. Gavin was drugged . Parker is a creepy fucking stalker and a psychopath. He loves ruby but maybe to much Juniper thought she was protecting her friend . Ruby a year a go met a guy named Shane and parker didn't like him but Shane liked ruby a lot and a video was released of them having sex and everyone thought Shane did it but he didn't parker took it . He was the ringleader that brought them all to the mansion he was working with Shane sister who ended up dying at Ruby's hand . Brianna starts a fire parker dies he is the reason Shane is dead freaking psycho he is . We find out Ruby ended up killing her abusive father he was choking her but she hit him with a doll. Gavin , Juniper , Brett and ruby leave alive this book was very lyrical and I really loved it , it had twist and turns .

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review 2019-07-16 03:52
The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle #2) (Audiobook)
The Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin,Rob Inglis

This was a great improvement over The Wizard of Earthsea. Since it wasn't trying to set up the entire universe and the rules in it, there was much less info dumping and less meandering. Le Guin narrowed in on the titular plot, following along with a young priestess name Arha (which sounded like Aha in the audio, lol) and the ancient underground vaults she's in charge of. The use of language here is lush and vivid, even more impressive that so much of it takes place in complete darkness. 


This follows up on some things set up in the first book, though I won't go into details, and adds a new dimension to it as we get to see another part of this world. The legend of the Priestess of Atuan is neat and the tombs sufficiently creepy. I thought the climax was a little too pat, though.


Rob Inglis continues to be a great voice in fantasy narration, and I found that listening to him at 1.4x was just right. Of course, every time I listen to one of these, I want to relisten to The Lord of the Rings. :D

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review 2019-07-15 14:12
The Stars at Oktober Bend: Has Lost Its Spark
The Stars at Oktober Bend - Glenda Millard

I want to keep this review as simple, direct, and quick. For me, things the book surely isn't. I found it complex, flowery, and draggy. 


Honestly, it took me months to finish this book. I started reading a third of the book then took a long break after that and finished it after a few months later. At the start of the story, it was very slow-paced and I hoped that there would be better progress in the chapters to come. It did build up for a few moments but then I felt that the story lost its momentum after half of it.


The idea of the book containing both prose and poetry excited me so I decided to read it. I did enjoy the small bits of poetry written by Alice. But once there was prose involved in the switching perspectives of Alice and Manny, things just got more confusing and it continued as the story went by.


The book did talk about heart-warming themes such as family, friends, love, etc. I saw that but to be honest, I just didn't feel it. The blurb intrigued me which made me curious. But as for the plot, it wasn't clear to me or maybe I just didn't understand it. The characters were okay, I guess and there was representation which was great. I didn't like or hate any of them so I think that's alright.


In conclusion, The Stars at Oktober Bend just didn't work for me. Maybe my expectations were just too high. I could say that it was good at the beginning and at the end of the story. I liked the poetry but other than that, I feel in-between about this up until now.


Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a copy.

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review 2019-07-15 01:02
Cousin Phillis ★★★☆☆
Cousin Phillis - Elizabeth Gaskell,Joe Marsh

The first part of this short novel is a sweet story about a naive young woman who all the menfolks agree is pretty but a little too brainy to make an attractive mate. After all, what man wants a wife who is better read, knows more languages, and asks business, engineering, and farming questions? Plus is half a head taller? If this sounds like a modern day bodice-ripper, never fear. Phillis is not a feisty 21st century heroine improbably crammed into a Victorian setting. This is an actual Victorian novel and Phillis is sweet and modest and passive, and the man of her dreams does fall in love with her a little, but she's still just a forgettable pretty country mouse.


The second part of the novel? Meh. It follows the formula, then it... just stops. I'm not sure if this is an unfinished novel, or if Gaskell just ran out of steam and decided to tack on a "The End" when she was ready to move on to her next writing project, but I did double check to be sure that there wasn't a missing section that I didn't download. 


Audiobook, via Librivox, which is a free service where volunteer/amateur readers narrate public domain stories from Project Gutenberg. The reader for this one, Elizabeth Klett, does a really good job with it - as good as some of the professional narrators I've heard from books that I actually paid for. 

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review 2019-07-14 23:35
The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn R. Saks
The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness - Elyn R. Saks

This seems to be the schizophrenia memoir, and it comes as no surprise that it’s written by a very accomplished, successful person: going public with an account of one’s psychosis and delusions could be career-ending for many people, but when you’re a tenured professor at a prestigious law school, with a stack of degrees and publications, you can basically do what you want. Still, it’s a gutsy thing to publish.

This is a chronological account of the author’s life from childhood up to probably her 50s, though the bulk of it takes place while she’s doing her graduate and law studies, which is when the schizophrenia really sets in. Fortunately for her, she’s in England on a Marshall scholarship when she’s first hospitalized, in an environment where patients’ personhood and wishes are respected – unfortunately, a sharp contrast to her hospitalization during law school back in the States, which is harrowing, as these stories tend to be. She is a tough lady though, and a strong sense of purpose in her studies and her work – as well as a few close friendships and a lot of psychoanalysis – gets her through.

I was surprised that Freudian psychoanalysis could actually do somebody with a serious mental illness much good, but it makes sense that having one-on-one time 4-5 times a week with someone who would listen nonjudgmentally to all her bizarre thoughts would help. She does eventually wind up having to be on medication long-term, and her discussion of all the reasons she resists this is really interesting. She doesn’t want to be “dependent on drugs,” the side effects of the antipsychotics available at the time were quite bad (including the risk of permanent, very visible nerve damage for those who took them long-term), but she also doesn’t want to view herself as damaged enough to need this. It doesn’t make logical sense and yet this seems to be a thing with the most stigmatized illnesses, that people often view taking medication for them as a symbolic capitulation, as if acknowledging the disease enough to treat it means turning over control of their lives to it.

Overall this is definitely an interesting memoir, though not a particularly artistic one; it’s told in a straightforward, chronological manner, albeit with a lot of dialogue that is probably not exact. Given how much the author has studied mental illness, I would have liked to see her broaden the scope of the book a little more, comment on how her experience of schizophrenia compares to that of others. That said, it works well as is, it’s accessible and engaging, and it’s a great window into a dreaded disease that’s generally discussed as if people who have it are incapable of contributing to the conversation themselves. Saks is living proof that people with schizophrenia are as capable as anyone else of living a full life, under the right circumstances: despite grave prognoses early on, and various crises along the way, she has a great career, is happily married and has a lot of strong friendships. At any rate, this is an eye-opening book and I recommend it.

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