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review 2019-01-18 16:03
Bayou Moon / Ilona Andrews
Bayou Moon - Ilona Andrews

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

 

One of the main things that I love about the Andrews’ female main characters is that they are very self-sufficient & competent to run their lives. They are acknowledged to be high functioning people by their families & circles of friends. Not only can they handle the vicissitudes of life, they can defend themselves and their dependents.

Another reason that I love their books? The humour. In this book, when Cerise and William first meet, they are both “undercover.” She thinks he’s an ass and secretly calls him Lord Leatherpants. She is smelling rather pungent, and William not-so-secretly calls her the Hobo Queen.

William leaned forward and pointed at the river. “I don’t know why you rolled in spaghetti sauce,” he said in a confidential voice. “I don’t really care. But that water over there won’t hurt you. Try washing it off.”
She stuck her tongue out.
“Maybe after you’re clean,” he said.
Her eyes widened. She stared at him for a long moment. A little crazy spark lit up in her dark irises.
She raised her finger, licked it, and rubbed some dirt off her forehead.
Now what?
The girl showed him her stained finger and reached toward him slowly, aiming for his face.
“No,” William said. “Bad hobo.”



There are, of course, the obligatory rocks in the romance road. As Shakespeare told us, the course of true love never did run smooth. But that line is from Midsummer Night’s Dream and the plot line of this story is more Taming of the Shrew.

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review 2019-01-07 12:41
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry
The Girl I Used to Be - April Henry

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this was really good. I have had this book for years but it somehow got lost in my pile at some point. I am glad that I decided to dust it off and give it a try because it turned out to be quite an enjoyable read. This was my first experience with April Henry's writing and I am rather impressed. This was a really fast read and I loved the fact that the mystery kept me guessing until the very end. I found this to be an overall enjoyable read. 

Olivia is a seventeen-year-old living on her own as an emancipated minor. She has spent years in the foster care system before going out on her own. Her life wasn't always like this. She had a family until her mother was killed when she was only three years old. She then lived with her grandmother until her death a few years later. Everyone always assumed that her father killed her mother since he hasn't been seen since that fateful day so many years ago. Oh, and her name was Ariel back then but that was really a lifetime ago. When new evidence that proves her father could not have been the killer, everything Olivia thought she knew is called into question.

I was really curious about what really happened to Olivia's parents. Olivia/Ariel was there that day but she was so young that she just doesn't remember. It was really interesting to watch her try to piece everything back together and figure out what really happened. There were so many possibilities and I never knew which way things would end up going. I have to admit that I didn't figure it out until everything was revealed which is just how I like it to go. There was a lot of excitement towards the end of the book and things were rather intense for a while but I was pretty satisfied with how everything was resolved. 

I liked Olivia/Ariel. Considering everything that she has been through, she really has a lot to be proud of. She is a hard worker and is completely self-reliant. She was very focused on her task in this story and wouldn't let herself be distracted by romance, even though there is a touch of that in this story. I really liked how she was with Nora, the older woman that used to live next door to her grandmother. 

I would recommend this book to others. I found it to be a fast-paced mystery that kept me guessing. This was the kind of book that can really hard to put down. I look forward to reading more of April Henry's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This was good. I really liked that this was a pretty fast moving story. I found the mystery to be very engaging. I liked Olivia/Ariel and thought that the way her past was described made her a bit easier to sympathize with. This was the first time that I have read any of April Henry's work and I really enjoyed her writing. 

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review 2019-01-02 16:25
Bone Crossed / Patricia Briggs
Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

It'll be her friends'.

 

2018 Re-read:

 

One of my favourite Mercy Thompson novels!  Lots of vampire drama, but most importantly we get to know Stefan better.  Is it wrong that I still wish Mercy had chosen him rather than Adam?  Mercy gets to really draw on her skinwalker powers, proving once again that being a growly werewolf is not necessarily as tough as the wily coyote!  (BTW, I saw a big fluffy coyote over the Xmas holidays, and thought of Ms. Thompson).

 

Re-reading this series has really re-set my internal reading-metre.  I’m enjoying myself again, recovering from a potential reading slump before it really got hold of me.  Thank you, Ms. Briggs, for giving me that oomph to escape the downward pull of the book-slump-undertow!

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review 2018-09-26 00:48
Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House - April Ryan

As far as I'm concerned, if you don't like Ryan's reporting and ethic of hard work, then there's something wrong with you. I have to admit though, this isn't as good as I hoped it be.

If you haven't been paying attention, Ryan is a reporter who has been covering the White House for quite a while. She is well spoken, well respected, and intelligent. Spicer told her to stop shaking her head. She is part of what Trump calls the fake news (until he considers it real news, then it's right, except when it's not). 

This book details her work in the White House Press corp during Trump's first year in Office. So if you are looking at how the Press is responding to Trump's repeated attacks on them and the First Amendent, this is it. It also means that there was, understandably, a push to get this book out. This most likely accounts for the feel that it should have used a bit of tighter editing. For instance,- I do not know if the publisher though only African-Americans would read this so perhaps this point is out of order (I'm white, I'm not show) - when Ryan is detailing Trump's first proclamination about African-American History month, she notes the response in the Black community because of the use of African-American not Black (there was/is a fear of erasing history or imporance). There was concern from the community, and she asked why the change. Spicer notes that Obama used the name; Ryan points out that Regan made the change. So why is Trump using African-American so much worse? I'm not questioning the validity of the response. I just want to know why it is worse. Is it because Trump is more openly racist? But Ryan doesn't say, so it comes off as strange.

I understand that this is an attempt, in part, to capture how Ryan talks in book form, but there is an overuse exclamination points, which I will grant is a pet peeve of mine.

There is also quite a bit on Ryan's "relationship" with Omarosa. This is understandable. If someone attacks your reputation and ethics, thereby endangering your job, you are going to be furious, but the section goes on for too long. A good editor would have shortened it.

Those qualms aside, I am glad that I read this. Ryan is a good read, and there is much in here that sheds light on some things in the news as well as horrifying you with Trump's working hours. It is important because Ryan is reporting when reporters are underfire at home, considering for instance, the work place shooting as well as the death threats that some reporters are getting.
 

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review 2018-09-20 15:09
Enchanted April
The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim

Yeah, I know I said I would not post here anymore but I wanted you all to know I've kept at reading Elizabeth's stuff. How did I not know about this author before? I'm still trying to wrap my arms around the fact that for a couple of years anyway, her and I were alive at the same time.  

 

I recently finished Enchanted April (it's a novel of hers but it was easy to imagine her as a character in it.) No one hardly comments on reviews on Goodreads (I think they're all hung up on their own shit), so I thought to post it here where I recall there were some people who liked Elizabeth. 

 

 

MY review:

Okay this is undoubtedly my favorite read of 2018.
Now I can watch the movie!!!! YAY!
Ms von Arnim was probably the best writer of her day, bar none, as her works are just as readable today in 2018 as they were in the late 1890's. As I've tried to read the so called classics of the early 1900s, I've found the writing of most lacking . . . dated actually. 
Ms von Arnim is a marvelous character developer and produces characters the reader embraces. I loved every one of the characters in this book.
As my previous reads of her works were those in which she was the main character, I was surprised this was a novel and not necessarily based on her. Or was it? Truth be told I thought the character of Scrap bore a resemblance to the person I've come to know as Elizabeth.

 

PS: I did watch the movie the same night and found it pretty true to the book. All of the actors were well cast and they mirrored how I pictured them. Some things were changed slightly as the book is mainly switching heads to get their thoughts and I know that's hard to show on screen. Plus, I thought the scenery (So much a part of the book) was lacking. Frankly, I'm surprised Hollywood tackled this at all. It's fairly recent (2011) so I'm surprised they didn't try to update the plot with terrorists or super powers. Thankfully they left it in the 1920s. I recommend the book (first of course) and the movie.

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