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review 2018-12-31 17:43
[REVIEW] A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings - Preeti Chhibber,Roshani Chokshi,Alyssa Wong,Aisha Saeed,Melissa de la Cruz,Sona Charaipotra,Elsie Chapman,Renee Ahdieh,Rahul Kanakia,Julie Kagawa,Shveta Thakrar,Aliette de Bodard,Cindy Gerard,Lori Foster,David G. Myers,Ellen Datlow

Probably my last book of the year. It was a very good anthology filled with folklore and mythologies (a subject that I really love) that I have not been usually exposed to but I enjoyed reading about very much. Some were better than others, some felt quite flat.

Rating for each story

Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi 3.5/5
Bittersweet story. Had lovely turns of phrases. Something didn’t quite click with me though. I felt the writing, while super pretty, kept me at a distance and didn’t allow me to connect with the characters or the story.

Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong 4/5
Sad ghost story, filled with melancholy and loss and also honor and respect. It made me feel things.

Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee 2.5/5
I didn’t like this one mostly because I kinda guessed the twist and because the end was left up in the air. Not sure if the element of the androids helped or hindered the story the author was trying to tell.

Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra 3.5/5
Creepy but good.

The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette de Bodard 3.5/5
I felt lost during most of the story and had a hard time differentiating Cam and Tam until halfway through. I am glad the author retold this folktale in a way that the sisters weren’t enemies but helped each other out.

The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C. Myers 4/5
This one might be my favorite so far. It made me cry. It felt like a story, even if it was a short one. It left me feeling satisfied.

The Smile by Aisha Saeed 4.5/5
By far my favorite. It was lovely and powerful and rang true to me. This is what I expect of retelling.

Girls who Twirl and other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber 2/5
Meh. Didn’t love it. It was only ok.

Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh 3.5/5
Well-written and very cute. 

Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia 1/5
Didn’t like this one. Couldn’t relate to it at all and it was too vague and emotionless for me to care.

Code of honor by Melissa De la Cruz 2.5/5
Felt jumbled and all over the place. I didn’t hate it but I couldn’t connect with it.

Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman 3/5
Man, this one made me sad. I wished it would’ve ended differently, but it is what it is.

Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar 3/5
Sometimes it rushed and the characters didn’t possess enough depth. The story itself was interesting.

The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon 4.5/5
I really liked this one. I loved that the author gave the weaver a decisive voice and that their tale is one of choice on both sides.

Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa 5/5
I loved this one. Probably because I’m familiar with some Japanese mythology. The story was very well-written and catches you immediately, not letting you go until the end.

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review 2018-05-04 18:52
New Beginnings
New Beginnings: Abel's Journey by Nicky James - Nicky James

Hurts so good. Phew. Absolutely loved this.

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review 2018-04-23 11:25
Not bad.
Grave Beginnings (The Grave Report, Book 1) - R.R Virdi,Paramjit Virdi

But it just couldn't catch my interest.

 

It had an original set-up with the soul that wanders from body to body to catch supernatural killers, but somehowit didn't work for me.

 

I only read the first 10 or 20% before I gave up.

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review 2018-03-08 00:00
The Summer of New Beginnings: A Magnolia Grove Novel
The Summer of New Beginnings: A Magnolia Grove Novel - Bette Lee Crosby This is a great novel about the relationships of sisters during times of family strife. Their father has recently passed and they are faced with many challenges to save his business. Both are facing personal challenges as well, with Tracy dealing with motherhood and Meghan, trying to deal with her feelings for a stray pup she found.
I would recommend this book for anyone that loves a good family based fiction novel. The characters were likable and easy to relate to. I would recommend this book to friends and give it a 5 star rating.
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review 2018-01-15 04:07
Great Beginnings
Great Beginnings: Opening Lines of Great Novels - Georgianne Ensign

A compendium of opening paragraphs from great literature, I see this as a great reference for future trivia games, and Jeopardy re-runs, but any authors/aspiring writers might view it as an interesting exploration of styles.

 

Ensign breaks the sections up by categorising the opening paragraphs: "Once Upon a Time" are literary openers that use First Person, or the Witness as a storyteller; "Setting the Setting" includes those opening paragraphs that immediately set the scene, the time, or use the weather to get the reader immediately involved.  My favorite was the chapter called "Brevity Doesn't Count" - listing opening sentences that are 100+ words long and themselves their own paragraphs.    Not because I like long, drawn out sentences that last forever, but because I can't help but laugh - usually about midway through - and think Breathe!.

 

Each section is very briefly introduced by the author with quick but insightful comments about the effective use of each device.  Moderately interesting in itself, but possibly better thought of as a reference.

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