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review 2018-04-04 17:44
Paper Girls (Book One) by Brian K. Vaughn et al
Paper Girls (Book One) - Matt Wilson,Cliff Chiang,Jared K. Fletcher,Brian K. Vaughan

I almost gave up on this comic series at page 10 as I had all the homophobia I could take from a comic book. Then Tiffany called Mac out on her shit and told her to knock off the slurs and not make an AIDS joke, and I was well, I like Tiffany. So I kept reading for Tiffany, but by the end of the book I was rooting with all the girls (including Melissa). What a great ride the first 10 issues were; I really picked up my reading pace after they time warped/traveled to 2016. Leaving this story at the end (they have reunited with KJ in the fourth fold) was bittersweet. Although I am not one for 80s nostalgia (I was 10 in 1989) except for music, I really rooted for the four papergirls to get back to 1988 and save the world. Brian K. Vaughn is quickly becoming my favorite indie comic writer - the humor, the emotional turns, the science fiction that isn't too over my head makes for such fun reading. Highly recommend, just take those first few pages with promise that it does it better.

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review 2018-02-23 13:12
Murder She Wrote, Continuation
Murder, She Wrote: Aloha Betrayed - Donald Bain,Jessica Fletcher

When this show first appeared on tv, my mom loved the show and watched it religiously. Eventually, I started watching it, too and enjoyed it. I wasn't as religious about watching it (between work, school and homework there wasn't time) and so would watch whenever I could. Then it was on Netflix and I would watch a few episodes at a time to catch up. Then one day in a library, I saw the books, not all of them, just some. I borrowed one here or there. 

 

I found this originally as an audiobook and borrowed it, but didn't get very far and gave up. I found it again as a Kindle book and regular book and borrowed it so that I could read it to fill in the Reading around the USA mysteries. It took care of Hawaii (I know there are many out there, but this worked, too). 

 

Jessica Fletcher has arrived in Maui, HI to co-teach a class with a famous retired detective, Mike Kane. On her arrival, she finds another person she has been asked to find and meet, Mala, a friend of Seth Haslitt's granddaughter. On the first night, Jessica is going to a luau and looks for Mala there but meets, Bob and his wife, Elaine, Professor Luzon and his wife, Honi and his graduate assistant, Grace. Just before she leaves, Grace tells Jessica that Mala was at the luau, but that she was arguing with someone. Jessica also overhears some men talking about getting rid of a woman if she continues to cause trouble. 

 

She is told about Mala's death by Mike and they begin to look into the death of Mala because while the officials are calling it an accident, they don't believe it was an accident. 

 

I did enjoy this story and was glad that I finally got a chance to read it. 

 

 

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quote 2018-02-14 13:46
"POG?” I asked, settling my bag on the seat next to mine. β€œIt’s a Hawaiian specialty, a fruit punch made with passion fruit, orange, and guava juices.”
Murder, She Wrote: Aloha Betrayed - Donald Bain,Jessica Fletcher

Murder She Wrote, Aloha Betrayed by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

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review 2018-01-31 21:48
Review: The Doorknob Society
The Doorknob Society - M.J. Fletcher

I think the annoyance factor has finally overtaken the entertainment factor. DNF @ 58%  This disappoints me because I think with some more work this could have been really good.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one.  So, I'll bottom-line it first for those that don't want to read the particulars.

In general I found this a fairly entertaining YA Fantasy, with a protagonist that was reasonably likable.  The premise is a mix of very imaginative and fairly original ideas along with things reminiscent of, and done better in, Harry Potter.

The story is actually pretty good, although flawed. Writing has some issues, but it kept my interest for awhile anyway, and has imaginative, interesting, and entertaining elements.

I also must say, in spite of what some seem to think, including apparently the author, this story is not Steampunk.

Unfortunately this book also contains many glaring editing errors.  It shows it was originally published in 2012. I bought my copy (for free) in 2015.  I am surprised that the Kindle version has not (yet) been corrected to remove these obvious editing problems in all this time.  I checked before writing this, no updated Kindle version is available.  This is inexcusable, in my opinion.

This causes me to give the side-eye to all those who posted glowing 5 star reviews for this book (and the others in this series - which, according to other reviewers, have the same editing issues).  Never mentioning this obvious problem.  Most particularly those who are bookbloggers.  They aren't doing their followers any favors by not telling them the truth.  Most especially as the subsequent books in this series are not free.  No one should pay money for books published in this amatuerish condition, most especially without knowing they're sub-par and not professional quality products.

I will also say that if it had just been the editing errors I might have stuck with this one, but there were other issues I had with the writing, which sometimes was fine, other times annoying.  See below for more explanation on that.

However, this book is free for the Kindle version.  If it sounds interesting to you, and you can tolerate some editing issues without wanting to poke your eyes out, I advise giving this a try and seeing for yourself.  It's got something, it just could have used a bit more work and polish to bring it up to snuff.

What I liked:

MC is tough, sassy, and it gets her in trouble. She's not over powerful at the start. Her mouth gets her in trouble. Still, she doesn't whimp out.  A couple of times she steps right in, not very wisely, but I still liked her for it.  She tells jerkwad adults off with no fear, even one with authority. Which is probably unwise, but still I liked her for it.

The concept of magically traveling through doorways.

The MCs mysterious dreams, that appear to not really be dreams.

I really liked her group of friends, and how they each had their own personalities.  I like how her friend Val annoyed Chloe, but then Chloe started to see a bigger picture and grew more tolerant of Val.

What I didn't like:

Lack of explanations.  Repeatedly being told about her "brokenness" and being bad at relationships with  no real explanation or justification shown for it.  

Her contrariness regarding the Love Interest.  She likes him, he likes her, she doesn't want to be in a relationship, yadda yadda. Fine.  Then they have sweet moments, clearly she likes him, then poof she goes all contrary on him for no reason.  I like that there isn't insta-love, but sheesh.  I began to wonder what he sees in her, she's like psycho around him. And her back and forth about it in her own head gets really tiresome.

She also makes judgements about him, and regarding her, simply based on their preferred fashion choices. Which annoyed me.  And her mentioning being "messed up" for which we're never shown any real reason for.

'I had a hard time imagining why he seemed interested in talking to someone as messed up as me. I didn’t exactly see a future with Mr. Wonderful walking around town with me in my combat boots, hoodie and dark eyeliner.'

The "Steampunk" devices. This is set in our present day.  This seems cobbled in perhaps to appeal to Steampunk fans, but this is not at all Steampunk. It just makes this story seem a mish mash of things that don't really fit or make much sense.

Vague passage of time, and contradictions.  Here's one example:

The MC, Chloe, is at her grandmother's house with her cousin.  Her cousin is going out and her grandmother says, "Make sure you're home for dinner."

Chloe and her grandmother talk a bit then start making dinner (the cousin isn't yet home, no mention of time).  Then, "When the stir fry was finished we sat at the table, ate and reminisced about my parents."

Didn't wait to eat for the cousin, who was supposed to be home for dinner.  No mention that her cousin was perhaps late and it was past dinner time.

'I heard the front door open having completely forgotten about my cousin. She walked into the kitchen, stopped a moment to stare at us and then she walked over grabbed a bit of food from the bowl and nibbled on it.

“How was your night dear?” Gran asked her.'

So, either the cousin was back at dinner time, but they didn't bother to wait for her - which no one mentions, or she was late - which no one mentions - and her grandmother asks how her "night" was, as if she'd been out for the evening, yet she was supposed to be home at dinner time and they were just then eating dinner.

And her grandmother says, '‘Sounds lovely but obviously you didn’t eat, so sit down and have something."'

Well of course she hadn't eaten, she'd been told to come home in time for dinner.

This makes no sense.

There's a lot of telling rather than showing.  And the story really suffers for it.

Editing errors.

There are numerous missing commas, I didn't even bother to note them.  At least three times the word "passed" is used when "past" is meant.  I stopped counting the number of instances a question mark was used at the end of a statement and obviously not a question after five occurrences.

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review 2018-01-31 17:51
The Two Noble Kinsmen, Shakespeare & Fletcher
The Two Noble Kinsmen (Oxford World's Classics) - William Shakespeare,John Fletcher

Shakespeare's final play, a collaboration with Fletcher, is more show than substance and allegedly often stolen by the Jailer's Daughter, who plays a small but crucial role in the main plot but ends up the lead character in a bizarre and controvercial subplot that even on the page is in some ways more interesting than the main action of two knights who fall instantly in love with their enemy's sister and fall to rivalry and rancour despite being cousins and also best pals five seconds earlier... Apparently one such modern day show stealer was Imogen Stubbs, which, given what I've seen/heard her do in other contexts, I find not so much plausible as inevitable.

 

So this is typical of late Shakespeare - an insubstantial Romance, this time based on Chaucer's Knight's Tale, with a silly plot and thin characters that can probably be made into a lively stage spectacle, at least, but far distant from the works that made his name echo down over four hundred years of history.

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