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Search tags: Castle-in-the-Air
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review 2018-04-23 03:22
And they all lived happily ever after...sorta'...
Until You - T.J. Klune

This one was perfect...perfectly hilarious at times, perfectly adorable and just perfectly wonderful to listen to.

 

Paul and Vince are getting ready for the big day and all their friends and family are on board to help...even the parrot Johnny Depp. I've loved listening to this series and I know I'll be going back for a replay...this series is definitely going on my 'Comfort Food' list.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-11 05:20
Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
For a short novel, this was a bit of a slog. The narrator and everyone surrounding her were just so deeply unpleasant to spend time with, and there's barely any plot to keep things moving.

The Blackwoods had been a prominent, though not particularly well-liked family in the small New England town where the story is set. Several years ago, most of the family was killed via arsenic-laced sugar they had sprinkled on their fruit at dessert. The only survivors were Constance, the sweet-natured older daughter who never took sugar on her fruit, Uncle Julian, who only ingested very little and was incapacitated for life as a result, and Mary Katherine (or Merricat), the younger daughter, who had been sent to bed without dinner that night.

Constance was assumed to be the culprit, but she was acquitted after a lengthy trial. Since then, the sisters and Uncle Julian have remained barricaded in their isolated mansion, the object of the townfolk's scorn and derision.

The story is narrated by the now 18-year-old Merricat, who is CLEARLY the real murderer. This was obvious from the first paragraph, where she confesses to wishing she was a werewolf and having an affinity for poisonous mushrooms. She is an unpleasant, petulant, strange young woman who obsesses over the charms she has put on the property to keep everyone out. She ruminates about how cruel her family was to send her to bed without dinner that night, and has no remorse at all for her multiple murders.

Meanwhile, Constance spends much of her time trying to avoid goading Merricat in any way - coming across as alternatively devoted and terrified - and Uncle Julian is a doddering old man with an exceedingly tenuous grasp of reality. The book wallows in the day-to-day life of these three unlikeable characters until a visitor appears and throws everything into disarray. Cousin Charles is a slimeball who has designs on marrying Constance as a way of accessing the family fortune. Merricat does not appreciate this, and crossing Merricat is a very bad idea.

I don't know. I have never much liked gothic fiction - it makes me feel claustrophobic and misanthropic. The characters feel like exaggerated malformations, and reading these books feels unpleasantly like gawking at a freakshow. I wasn't charmed by Merricat's quirks, as I think the book wanted me to be? And I never once thought anyone but she murdered the family, so the big reveal late in the book was completely anticlimactic.

Still, there was something... memorable about this story. The creepy secluded mansion felt very real, and the sneering townspeople were, oddly, some of the few characters that actually rang true to me. I read that Shirley Jackson based this milieu on the provincial, anti-intellectual town where she lived and felt like a pariah, so perhaps that is why these are the only elements that felt really authentic to me. But there is an emotional truth buried deep there, under all the tedious gothic trappings, and when it showed through - it gleamed.
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text 2018-03-31 16:08
March Recap
The One - John Marrs
Never Never - Colleen Hoover; Tarryn Fisher;
Forever Right Now - Emma Scott
You Look Different in Real Life - Jennifer Castle
The Queen of Hearts - Kimmery Martin
Gemina (The Illuminae Files) - Jay Kristoff,Amie Kaufman
Only Human - Sylvain Neuvel
Tarnished City - Vic James
The Vanishing Girl - Laura Thalassa

Wow...this month was a long one.  I went on vacation (which was so needed), and then a week later I had surgery on my foot.  I have super bad plantar fasciitis, from working on cement floors for so many years.  So they cut me in my arch on the bottom of my foot and in my calf, to stretch the tendons, and hopefully, when I'm more stretchy I won't have this problem anymore.   Right now, I'm basically on bedrest because I can't put any weight on it, yet.  After my surgery on the 20th, I managed to listen to a few more books and boost my reading, it was way down from my usual.  My April reading should be phenomenal though...I don't go back to work until at least the middle of May.

 

 

 

 

(Audiobook) The One by John Mars

Finish Date:  03/03

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(eBook) Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Finish Date:  03/09

☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(eBook) Forever Right Now by Emma Scott

Finish Date:  03/15

☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

Finish Date:  03/15

☆2☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Audiobook) The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

Finish Date:  03/22

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Finish Date:  03/23

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(eARC) Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Finish Date:  03/26

☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) Tarnished City by Vic James

Finish Date:  03/27

☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

Finish Date:  03/30

☆2.3☆STARS - GRADE=D+

 

9 Books Total, 6 of those are Audiobooks, 2 eBooks, and 1 Netgalley eARC.

For a total of 3,364 Pages (including Audio)

 

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review 2018-03-22 21:21
2 Out 5 "A little too much Y and not enough A" Stars
You Look Different in Real Life - Jennifer Castle

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~ABOUT THE BOOK~

You Look Different in Real Life

Jennifer Castle

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.

 

The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.

 

Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.

 

But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

While You Look Different in Real Life wasn't really for me, I think for a younger audience it may work.  The only reason I listened to this in the first place is for a reading challenge (I needed a narrator whose name started with a Q). 

 

Overall, for me, the characters were not memorable and it was really difficult for me to see where this story was going.  Ultimately, there is a message there and that's why the ending is the only part that got a decent rating from me.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

2/5 STARS - GRADE=D

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 1/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 1.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 2.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2/5

Ending~ 3.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ It's whatever…

Narration~ Samantha Quan is not bad in this, but I really didn't like the book…so maybe that makes it kind of difficult to figure out how I feel about her as a narrator.

Setting~ New York and the surrounding area…I think

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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text 2018-03-04 00:41
Buried Treasure
Copsi Castle - Norah Lofts
Penhallow - Georgette Heyer

My house is a mess.  My studio (sometimes called "the little house," because that's what it is) is a disaster.  The workshop is worse than both of the others combined.

 

I have five weeks until the spring Studio Tour, which is the last show event of the season.  Scheduling conflicts forced me to cancel participation in two other shows, which wasn't good for my bottom line.  This spring Tour is a new event for our artists group, and I'm very excited about it.

 

Today was the first opportunity I've had to really plunge into work for it, however.  We've either had weather too cold to work in either the shop or the studio, or I've had other events going on.  And to tell the truth, I just haven't had the energy.  Part of that may have been due to the vitamin D deficiency diagnosed last month; after a month's worth of supplements, maybe that's been turned around, too.  At any rate, I was up by 6:00 this morning, threw in a load of laundry and dashed to the grocery store for a few essentials while the washer was running.  I was home before the final rinse.

 

And then it was out to the studio to start cleaning some of the mess.  I actually made some progress, and when it got warm enough outside, I even ventured over to the workshop.

 

I have to confess I almost turned around and walked back out, but I gathered up some determination and headed for the storage racks where the 80+ plastic shoeboxes of rocks are stored.

 

 

Over the years, some of those plastic boxes have rotted from the sun and started to disintegrate, making a horrible mess.  That had to be today's first chore, and it involved sorting out the rocks in those boxes.  As almost always happens when I dig into boxes of rocks that I've had for a long time, I discover things I didn't know I had, either because I just plain forgot about them or because I didn't know what they were in the first place. 

 

One of those sun-rotted boxes had a whole bunch of Oregon beach agates, some already polished and some not.  I sorted out a batch for the tumbler and got them started; they should be finished just in time for the Studio Tour.

 

Feeling proud of myself for having actually accomplished something, I began rearranging some other things in the workshop.  Most of the boxes of (uninventoried) books are at least labeled by genre, but there are other boxes containing . . . . heaven only knows what.  One of them happened to be in the way of the area I was cleaning, so I opened it to see if the contents were even worth messing around with.

 

I laughed out loud.

 

A whole box of gothic romances.  At least 50, maybe 75, maybe more.  I grabbed the Norah Lofts and Georgette Heyer from the top layer, but there's a whole lot more.  Willo Davis Roberts.  Dorothy Eden.  Now I can't even remember who all else.

 

I've already added my edition of Penhallow to the database.  I'll add Copsi Castle in a few minutes.  If only I didn't have to take time out to cook supper!

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