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review 2017-05-21 15:06
The Dead Zone ★★★★☆
The Dead Zone - Stephen King

Random thoughts about this book:

  • It’s very dated, but in a way that’s amusing and a little thought-provoking. The inner thoughts of a man on hold, at a time when the telephone “hold” function was new and before the now-ubiquitous hold music or recorded messages, when being put on hold was like a little death: “The line was darkly, smoothly, blank. You were nowhere. Why didn’t they just say, ‘Will you hold on while I bury you alive for a little while?’”
  • As per King’s usual, the romantic relationship with the main character is awkward and unconvincing, as was their weird little sexual interlude.
  • But his portrayal of religious fanaticism *is* convincing, especially in this book, where he treats it with some sympathy rather than just as a motivation for evil deeds and rude behavior. He is savage with those who exploit the believers’ needs for relief of pain and grief, all for a price, of course.
  • Oh, and Greg Stillson. Chilling description of a power-hungry sociopath who wears the mask of respectability and presents himself as a hard-hatted, patriotically flag-draped champion of the working class, promising jobs and security, while employing thugs as “security” and “campaign managers” to pave the way forward through nefarious means. King seems to have been prescient. For who would have seriously thought that a populist buffoon like that could actually rise to national power in a democratic America?

 

Overall, it’s not the great book that I remember reading as a young teen, but it’s entertaining and it still has some very relevant things to say about the danger of allowing our pain and fear and need cloud our judgement so much that we make ourselves vulnerable to those who would use us to enrich or empower themselves.

 

Audiobook, via Audible. James Franco’s performance grew on me a little, but not all talented actors make great audiobook narrators. Few characters had a distinct voice, and his New England Yankee characters had oddly Southern accents.  

 

Previous Updates:

5/7/17 5%  http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1560788/the-dead-zone-progress-5

 

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review 2017-05-20 08:21
Arc review: Indiscretion: A Standalone Forbidden Romance by Lane Hart
Indiscretion: A Standalone Forbidden Romance - Lane Hart

 

Not what I was expecting! 

Although I’ve heard great things of this author this is actually my first book by her. I’m not much of a contemporary romance reader unless it’s packed with action and suspense but there was something about the blurb that caught my attention and I just couldn’t pass the chance to read this book. 

 

So, for starters, Clark Kent as my physical therapist? Sign me up!

 

 

 

The story begins with what Sam thinks is a little white lie to her PT, Dr. Grant Matthews, never imagining it could potentially ruin the man’s future. What starts as silly flirtation and later sizzling make-out sessions turns into something deeper and more meaningful before either one of them realizes it.

 

I’ll be honest and say that I’m not too fond of stories told in the present tense or in the first person POV but that didn’t even bother me here because it was just that well-told. All characters’ personality jumped out of the pages and that’s something I can always appreciate. Sam was innocent without sounding dim-witted; I think she was just a woman acting her age. Grant on the other hand kind of grew on me because when the story started I sort of hated the man, like big time, sexy glasses and all.

 

The story had plenty of twists and turns that I did not expect, some that I could see coming but were still interesting, plenty of laugh out and tear-jerking moments, and some that had me cheering for love and justice to triumph over everything. I’m not so sure about the ending because I thought it was tied up way too nicely however overall it was a great story and I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.

 

 

 

** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-05-14 01:25
Infected: Bloodlines (Infected #2)
Infected: Bloodlines - Andrea Speed

If you read the first book, none of this should be a spoiler, but if you haven't, then proceed with caution.

 

Let me get my one gripe out of the way first. Paris is pretty. Like, really super duper fantabuloso everyone-with-eyes-wants-to-bang-him sexy hot. I know this because the author reminds the reader of this repeatedly. If I cut and paste all those passages together, it would probably take up five pages minimum. I vaguely remember being annoyed by this in the first book, but in this book, we're told that Paris's tiger virus has reached critical, that he's lost 50 pounds and is only 150-something, pale, always cold - he's sick, chronically so. So I don't need to hear about how super duper mega hot sex-on-legs he is every other page. One, I actually remember that from the previous book. Two, he's SICK! And at over six feet and only 150 pounds, he's not broad-chested. He's a toothpick. I just found the constant fascination with his sex appeal to be really shallow and misplaced in this book, and I could've done without it. Especially since the author could've gotten the same point across by showing and not telling...and telling...and telling...and telling...

 

Moving on to the actual story:

 

On the mystery front, I give this one three stars. The mystery wasn't really that involved here, and the revelation of the whodunit comes almost by accident. Almost. And since Roan's in an emotionally unstable place, that outcome isn't what you'd expect it to be - and that's all I'm saying about that. 

 

On the personal story front, I give this five stars. Read this with a box of tissues close at hand, because you're going to need it! In only two books, or two and a half if you read the novella "Infected: Paris" before this one, Ms. Speed created a beautiful couple in Roan and Paris. They're flawed, they're sometimes stupid, they're occasionally too sweet to bare, and they're real. And in this book, they're raw. They both know what's coming, and while Paris is preparing for the inevitable, Roan's living as close to denial as he can get for as long as he can, because to face reality would be the end for him as well. The supporting cast is all back. Dee is a saint of an ex-boyfriend, and Kevin's still a mess. Matt's much more prominent here. We don't see as much of the coppers, but when we do we get to see their concern and support. 

 

There are a couple of things that are brought up and then dropped, and some things are mentioned that happened between books that I would've liked to see on page. The editing is better than the first book but could still use work on making the "he's" and "his" more clear on who is being talked about. Still, the editing here is better than many. 

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review 2017-05-12 13:00
The Shuttle ★★★★☆
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

The best part of this book was the story of a smart and determined young woman who travels overseas to rescue her sister from the husband who broke her spirit with deliberate, methodical cruelty. The best (and most surprising) writing in this book is the examination of his cruelty and exposure of the methods of psychological warfare that are used to subjugate one’s partner. It was surprising, because this novel was written in the first decade of the 20th century, long before terms such as “gaslighting” were in common use. I believe the author was exorcising some demons from her own life, as it was written during her turbulent second marriage, to a man who reportedly was very controlling and attempted to wrest control of her own independent wealth.

 

I enjoyed the writing. It is endlessly quotable. 

 

But this novel is not perfect. It has all the challenges of reading 100+ year old literature, the narrative wanders all over the place, it contains some very odd themes with its love-fest of capitalism and comparisons of American industrialist energy to waning English aristocracy, and the last quarter of the story devolves into standard bullshit Romance tropes.

 

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much.

 

I read this for the 2017 Booklikes-opoly game, for square 15: “Additional Task: Read a book where someone gets married, with jewelry on the cover, or where any character is a millionaire/billionaire!” The story, on its surface, is of multimillionaire American heiresses of a business empire who marry into impoverished English aristocracy.

 

Previous Updates:

4/19/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1554280/hp-s-bl-opoly-2nd-dice-roll

4/21/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1554882/the-shuttle-progress-41-512-pg

4/21/17 - page 53 10.35% "It just occurred to me that the author started work on this book during her very short and apparently turbulent second marriage, to a man who reportedly was very controlling and attempted to take her money, which she had earned with her writing."

4/21/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1554986/the-shuttle-progress-53-512-pg

4/22/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1555085/the-shuttle-progress-99-512-pg

4/28/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558460/the-shuttle-progress-176-512-pg

4/29/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558785/the-shuttle-progress-242-512-pg

4/30/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558977/the-shuttle-progress-272-512-pg

4/30/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558994/the-shuttle-progress-277-512-pg

4/30/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1559001/the-shuttle-progress-280-512-pg

5/8/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561332/the-shuttle-progress-298-512-pg

5/9/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561502/the-shuttle-progress-303-512-pg

5/9/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561506/the-shuttle-progress-304-512-pg

5/9/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561566/the-shuttle-progress-350-512-pg

5/11/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561965/the-shuttle-progress-433-512-pg

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-08 20:25
(Pre-)Review: "A Time to Rise" (Apocalypse of the Angels, #1) by Tal Bauer
A Time to Rise - Tal Bauer

It's hard for me to review this book properly right now, because even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, it ends with a lot of unanswered questions AND a tentative HFN.

 

I need to know what direction the sequel will take first (and there better be a sequel!), before I finally make up my mind.

 

Because one of my most loathed pet peeves reared its ugly head at the end:

 

a fucking love triangle

(spoiler show)

 

So it could go either way at this point.

 

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