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review 2018-08-19 21:21
Quick Comment: To All The Boys I've Love Before
To All the Boys I've Loved Before - JennyHan

If it wasn't because my friend recommended me the book (or rather, forced me to read it) I probably wouldn't have picked it up myself. I'd just think "it's not my kind of book".
To All The Boys I've Loved Before surprised me. It has a kind, funny story that develops the characters beyond the main romance arc, and I found many aspects of Lara Jean's life (the protagonist) relatable. I guess I don't see it as a literary "masterpiece" or anything, but I really did enjoyed reading it. It was fun, and quite fast to read. I'd say that in general it's a light read, but I must confess some parts had me burying my face in the book, putting it down to breathe, or tempting me to turn to the end of the chapter to see how things turn out.
My friend's goal all along was for me to finish it before the movie came out (last Friday on Netflix) and I did, just in time. Of course, as always, I have to say it... The book was better! But the movie is still very good to watch if you are in a rom-com kind of mood. Books always have more space for character development and exploration, so that's probably why I prefer them.
Now, my friend lend me the second. Lets see how it goes!

 

 

Photo cred: http://www.whatsfilming.ca

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text 2018-08-10 10:00
Blog Tour Spotlight with Excerpt! Miss Behave (The Anderson Family #1) Traci Highland!

 

 

 

Title: Miss Behave (The Anderson Family Series Book 1)

Author: Traci Highland
Publisher: Cheshire Lane Press
Pages: 330
Genre: Romantic Comedy

 

BOOK BLURB:


She's great at giving advice, too bad she never takes it…

 

Piper Anderson wants to be a serious journalist at a serious paper covering serious news. Instead, she’s stuck at the Pendleton Falls Herald, where her massive investigative skills are wasted penning the paper’s advice column, Miss Behave.

 

Her shot at a meaty story comes when she’s assigned to write up a profile of a local business, Brookes Jewelers. She is determined to write the piece so she can use the article to impress a real paper.

 

Unfortunately Hunter Brookes, co-owner of Brookes Jewelers and the Pendleton Falls Herald, is rather persistent, in his own hot little way, that the piece should be nothing more than a glorified sales pitch.

 

But when diamonds disappear, Piper may get the chance to do a real investigation, leading her to confront family secrets and worst of all, turn to her mother for help.

 

Piper soon realizes that there is more to Mr. Brookes than a tight ass and a ridiculous fascination with name tags. Together they deal with roasted pigs, crazy cat ladies, and gun-toting fashionistas.

 

In all the chaos, they just might find the one thing that neither one was looking for: true love.

 

 

Dear Miss Behave,


Last weekend I was at the pool with the children, and there was a woman naked and walking around the locker room.


I hate to be prissy, but to be naked around young children like that just isn’t right. She comes to the pool regularly and I am not the only one who has happened upon her strolling around the locker room without clothes. Now I know there are showers and that people change in locker rooms, but showers should be taken while wearing bathing suits and there are private changing rooms that are clearly marked.


How can I convey to her the accepted rules of decency before any of our children become hopelessly corrupted?


Sincerely,
-Agape at the AquaPark

 

Dear Agape,


Do please get over yourself. People shower naked. If you choose not to, then I assume you probably smell and your skin is beset by odd rashes.


I suggest that you buy your kids an ice-cream and treat yourself to a margarita. Life is short, darling. Lighten up.


Sincerely,
Miss Behave


Find Miss Behave at:

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40653055-miss-behave

 

available for purchase at:


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Miss-Behave-Anderson-Family-Book-ebook/dp/B07F19T6QT/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 


Traci Highland writes funny books for sassy ladies. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and has a Master’s from Quinnipiac University. She uses this education to write books, bake cakes, garden and make homemade jams. Her children say she’s bossy, her husband says she’s high-maintenance, but the dog thinks she’s perfect.

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

 

Website - http://www.tracihighland.com/

 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/TraciHighland

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TraciHighland/

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/profile/traci-highland

 

 

 

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review 2018-08-06 07:16
Go For It, Nakamura! (one-shot manga) story and art by Syundei, translation by Amber Tamosaitis
Go For It, Nakamura! - SYUNDEI

Go For It, Nakamura! is comedy with gay high school romance elements. I want to emphasize, however, that it isn't a romance. If the series ever gets another volume (maybe it already has, just not in English?), I could see it becoming a romance, but this particular volume is not.

Nakamura is an awkward, introverted, and occasionally uncomfortably intense 16-year old. He adores his pet octopus, Icchan. He has no friends and practises conversations in his head all the time but has difficulty actually having them in real life. He also happens to be gay. He has an enormous crush on his popular and outgoing classmate, Hirose, and his goal is to 1) actually talk to him and 2) become friends with him.

I picked this up on a whim. Happily, this turned out to be a good decision. For the most part, I loved this volume.

I don't handle secondhand embarrassment well and found myself having to take breaks several times while reading this. Nakamura was painfully awkward in ways that, yes, were played for humor but were also often realistic enough that awkward and/or introverted readers could probably find something to relate to. One particular horrible moment Nakamura remembered exactly matched a horrible memory from my own middle school years. Seeing it on-page was a bit horrifying.

I rooted for Nakamura, but I also had issues with him. I disliked how completely focused he was on Hirose. He had zero friends, and yet when his efforts to talk to and impress Hirose led to him meeting and talking to Hirose's friends, he never once considered them to be potential friends. Instead, he viewed anyone who was even vaguely close to Hirose as rivals and possible sources of information about Hirose. He also didn't seem to realize that a lot of the things he was doing to try to get to know Hirose better were kind of creepy, like eavesdropping on Hirose's conversations to find out what sorts of things he liked.

Chapter 2 contained one of my least favorite moments, a single panel in which Nakamura had a sudden tentacle rape fantasy about Hirose. And Chapter 4 was a little weird, introducing a fujoshi artist who developed a crush on Nakamura. I'm still not sure whether she was aware that Nakamura liked Hirose, although I don't see how she could've missed it considering the nature of Nakamura's request.

Aside from those things, however, I really enjoyed this volume. The artwork was well-done and reminded me a lot of Rumiko Takahashi. And the humor usually worked for me, despite my secondhand embarrassment issues. It was focused on Nakamura's awkwardness and his efforts to accomplish something where his secret crush was concerned, but it didn't feel, to me, like Syundei was being overly cruel to Nakamura or making fun of him for being gay. (Be warned, however, that there are a couple instances of homophobia. At one point, for example, Nakamura's teacher laughed at the idea of two boys dating.)

The last couple chapters had some surprisingly serious moments, as Nakamura began to lose hope that he'd ever truly connect with Hirose and become his friend. He compared himself to his effortlessly cool teacher, who Hirose certainly idolized and, Nakamura feared, possibly had a crush on, and found himself focusing on all the ways he fell short.

The ending was sweet. I considered it reasonably satisfying, although some readers might not feel the same. Syundei gave Nakamura a bit of happiness but left plenty of room for the story to be continued.

Although the romance fan in me might have liked something more, I think it would have felt rushed and weird - not to mention there'd still be the issue of Nakamura's potentially unhealthy level of focus on Hirose, and what that would mean for any sort of romantic relationship between them. One interesting thing: This may be the only work I've ever read where the closeted main character is still closeted by the end, but not unhappy.

(spoiler show)


Extras:

A couple full-color pages, character profiles for Nakamura and Hirose, and a 2-page comic-style afterword by the author. In the afterword, Syundei talks a little about each chapter's creation - I wonder if the "tentacle rape" panel would have made it in if Syundei had known the series was going to continue?

 

Rating Note:

 

I debated between 4.5 and 5 stars for this. I don't really know that it deserves 5 stars, considering its problems, but I've found myself going back and rereading parts of it several times since I finished it. I decided that's worth bumping my rating up.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-07-20 16:00
BLOG TOUR REVIEW: 'Scream All Night' by Derek Milman
Scream All Night - Derek Milman

 

 

I jumped at the chance of getting on this blog tour the second that I could! This book is so up my alley I can barely get the words out quickly enough (and I’m not sure I can get them all out).

Having worked on horror movies in the past (more about that below) there’s no way I could have passed this book by, and neither should you! It’s genius, in that it’s funny, endearing, clever, thought-provoking, and just brilliantly-written.

So read on…especially since there’s a giveaway at the bottom!

 

Thank you so SO much to Rockstar Book Tours for including me on this one!!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, DEREK MILMAN

 

 

 

Derek Milman was born in New York City, but grew up in Westchester, NY, where he wrote and published a successful underground humor magazine that caught the attention of the New York Times, who wrote a profile on him at the age of 14.

 

Derek studied English, Creative Writing, and Theater at Northwestern University. He began his career as a playwright (his first play was staged in New York City when he was just out of college), and earned an MFA in acting at the Yale School of Drama.

 

Derek has performed on stages across the country, and appeared in numerous TV shows and films, working with two Academy Award winning film directors.

 

Scream All Night is Derek's debut YA novel. He currently lives in Brooklyn where he is hard at work on his next book ('Night Flight').

 

ABOUT THE BOOK, SCREAM ALL NIGHT

 

Pub. Date: July 24, 2018

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 400

 

A darkly hilarious contemporary realistic young adult novel about growing up and finding your place in the world, perfect for fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Running With Scissors.

 

Dario Heyward knows one thing: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

 

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?

 

BUY THE BOOK!

 

**ANDwill point out NOW how easy it is to go and PRE-ORDER the book TODAY; go to THIS LINK because there are both the links to where you can BUY THE BOOK (AmazonSkylight Books, B&N.com ) and for the PREORDER GIVEAWAY (FEATURING MOVIE POSTER SWAG FROM THE BOOK)!**

PS. The preorder giveaway ends at the end of today (7/20) so order RIGHT NOW!

 

 

And of course, it's NOW MY TURN....

 

Now that you have read the synopsis, I know you must be intrigued, and honestly, I feel like this is one of the most unique and original YA novels that I’ve read in some time, particularly in terms of setting (does it even have to be listed as such, just because the characters are young? This is unique, period).


Dario, our ‘lead’, is both witty, and tragic, and I found it hard not to fall for him in terms of wanting things to work out as he’s finding his way through all the craziness: his brother Oren, his father, the studio, his past, reuniting with his ‘lost’ love Hayley. He’s real and honest, and it’s tough to read some of the sections of the book about him and his mom because he’s had to deal with a lot of sadness.


That said, this is a ‘coming-of-age’ story, one where hard decisions about life have to be made, but it’s also a darkly comedic one; there’s so much humor, so much vivid imagery, and it hit the right tone with the ‘difficult’ spots, as well as the lighter ones. Milman is able to shift easily with this writing to make this both a poignant but funny and clever book.

Describing film/movie making is really hard to do, since you’re discussing a world within a world (and it’s so visual), and Milman has created this whole Moldavia Studio ‘world’ and then had to also translate as much as he can about filmmaking while keeping it easy to ‘get’. He has film terms and crew positions in there that maybe some people won’t understand (but I got a real kick out of; I could absolutely imagine this stuff) but nothing that made it confusing. *If you’re in the biz though, it’s just a bonus.

 

**EXTRA PERSONAL NOTE:
A quick word about why I jumped on this book like Vincent Price on a bare neck: you see, while I didn’t actually live in a castle like Moldavia Studios, which is where the book’s lead character Dario grew up, where dozens of cult classic horror movies got made, I did get close enough to my own version of this slice of craziness quite a few times. I have my degree in film and video production (and even got to take a brilliant 3 credit class all on vampire movies one summer), and spent a good decade or so working on feature films (and TV, commercials, etc), as continuity/script supervisor.


I tell you this because some of my favorite film-making memories were of making horror movies. My most fun times, as hard they were, were standing on snowy mountains seeing ‘someone getting slashed’ and hung on the ski-lift. And not many people have images of actors having their lunch with ice picks sticking out of their backs, or in bloody nightgowns but with grins on their faces. And even though I’ve even seen a house set on fire at the end of a film shoot and more fake blood than I can fathom, it doesn’t make me lose my love for the great horror classics.


I love horror movies (and books), and have taken great fascination into the old Hammer Studio movies in the past. The campy gore, the cult classics. And having Derek Milman put this into a book as a backdrop was an absolute delight, right down to all the movie names he cleverly came up with.

 

I absolutely can’t wait to see what Derek comes up with for his next book, although I think before that, it would be fantastic to sit down and make either a campy horror movie (it’s been a while!), or have a Hammer-Horror movie marathon!

 

Congrats on the new book, Derek! It’s genius.

 

 

THE BOOK GIVEAWAY

 

Everyone who enters the Rafflecopter giveaway at the link below has a chance to win a copy of the book and swag!

 

**1 winner will win a signed finished copy of SCREAM ALL NIGHT & swag, US Only.

Ends 7/30.

 

Enter by clicking HERE

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

 

And you can follow the whole book blog tour by following this link:

SCREAM ALL NIGHT BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

 

 

This was a really fun book to read and I'd love to hear if anyone preorders it or reads it, as it comes out just next week! It's a real scream!

 

Happy Reading!

~ K

 

 

 

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Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/32928987-scream-all-night?ac=1&from_search=true
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review 2018-07-17 02:30
The Silver Spoon, Forsyte Chronicles #5
The Forsyte Saga: The Silver Spoon (A Modern Comedy #2) - John Galsworthy
A Modern Comedy - John Galsworthy

An American relative by marriage arrives pays a call in Westminster, a link to the more interesting, artistic, Forsytes in time to be present at a new scandal. Soames overhears a guest at one of his daughter's parties make a disparaging remark about Fleur and defends her. What should have only been some ruffled feathers turns into a major concern and underlines just how much society has changed since the Great War.

While I have come around a bit in regards to Fleur, I still find her irritating. The social nature of this plotline had little of the dramatic edge of 'The White Monkey' for me. Mont's attempts to make a name for himself in politics is interesting historically, but also didn't have the drama I loved in the first trilogy of Forsyte novels.

What made this book readable was Soames, of course. His own interior distress at the changing times and his attempts to do right by his daughter were sympathetic and made for good reading. Soames is still moving well in financial currents and has developed an understanding of fine art, but emotions and what makes people tick are still a mystery to him. The American cousin, Francis Wilmot, has his own struggles with his fascination for the lovely and modern girl who sparked Soames outrage.

This was an interesting social critique of London society and to an extent global politics of the 1920s. I would still only recommend this for Forsyte fans.

'A Modern Comedy'

Next: 'Swan Song'

Previous: 'The White Monkey'

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