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review 2018-08-20 01:09
Sheer: A Hollywood Romance (Exposed Book 3) by Sarah Robinson
Sheer: A Hollywood Romance - Sarah Robinson

 

Wounded hearts get a chance to heal. Robinson takes the broken and makes them whole. The beauty of the Exposed series is that images can be deceiving. There's drama under the surface waiting to bubble over. It's how the people handle the fallout that makes the stories so intriguing. Sheer is the beginning of the end for an unforgettable series. As Grant and Simone find their way in the industry of bright lights and heartache, each tackles hard knocks in their personal lives and insecurities in their professional ones. The fault in our stars is that we all have flaws. It's the lessons we learn and the peace we find from working through them, that helps us become who we're meant to be. Gritty, sensitive and inspiring tale.

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review 2018-08-02 16:59
Hollywood Heir (Westerly Billionaire Book 4) by Ruth Cardello
Hollywood Heir - Ruth Cardello

 

Humor and heartache are an odd combination, but Cardello makes it work. Hollywood Heir is not your average poor rich man story. Eric wears the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's haunted by abandonment issues, family problems self recrimination. All as the world watches. Self destruction has landed him in a dark place. Until fate sees fit to shine some light his way. Sage is a plant psychologist. She may seem odd, is often kooky, but has a good head on her shoulders and an even more beautiful heart. She has a gift for reading people and she can see Eric's pain. Can she help him before he completely self-destructs? A broken hero, an unlikely heroine and an empathetic ear are hard to resist when they come from the imagination of Ruth Cardello. A nice warm hug for the heart.

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review 2018-07-23 21:25
A bad movie, a nail in the coffin of John Bellairs
The House With a Clock in Its Walls - John Bellairs

I felt compelled to reread this after seeing the godawful trailer for the new film. I ended up reading it aloud to my husband over the course of a few nights. The book is still wonderful. I've linked to book reviews for the Lewis Barnavelt Trilogy at the bottom.

I thought I was over getting nerdrage at bad book to film translations, but those trailers made me see red. 'A House with a Clock in It's Walls' is a meandering book about a lonely, scared boy finding a place for himself in his new family after his parent's death, and, above all, learning about true courage and friendship.

Tonally, aesthetically, and factually this movie has missed the mark. I know its only a trailer, but trailers these days seem to show the whole damn film. The casting is terrible. Lewis is some Hollywood kid instead of the weepy (his parents are DEAD, remember?), overweight bookish loner. Jack Black is all crazy googly-eyed as Uncle Jonathan. Mrs. Zimmerman instead of being the "wrinkliest" woman Lewis has ever seen, all smile lines, is played by Cate Blanchett with a silver wig. What a missed opportunity to bring back some great actress with a meaty role for an elderly woman.

Aesthetically, some effort seems to have been made to put it in early postwar America, but the CGI effects are plastered over everything and used for cheap laughs - complimented by bad dialogue.

Tonally, this was a book filled with gentle humor balanced with atmospheric dread and real scares. How can there be any balance in this movie?

John Bellairs books are in danger of going out of print - 'Figure in the Shadows' and 'The Letter, the Witch, and The Ring' are already gone. The book and the movie are so different that no kid who liked the movie is going to enjoy the book, creating NO demand for those sequels, and any kid with the sense to hate the movie is going to avoid the book thinking they share some similarities. More bad news: when this movie fails some asinine executive is going to think kids don't like fantasy or scary movies, when they only don't like bullshit.

The Lewis Barnavelt Trilogy:

The House with a Clock in It's Walls

The Figure in the Shadows

The Letter, The Witch, and The Ring

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video 2018-07-19 05:03
The House with a Clock in Its Walls - John Bellairs

I am furious and sad. This trailer shows me a goofy, CGI-riddled mess. I was so excited when I heard about this movie, John Bellairs' books are starting to go out of print and I was hoping this would encourage kids to read them again. No kid who likes the movie is going to like the book. Period. The book was about Lewis learning a valuable lesson about who real friends are and facing fears, the book had positive adult role-models. A film could have been made that was funny, atmospheric and spooky that would honor Bellairs gothic inspirations and the Edward Gorey illustrations.

 

This is more than being upset about book vs. movie translation. This is, to borrow my husband's phrase, a book turned into a Universal Studios ride.

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review 2018-07-14 23:58
X-Files: Night Lights, Book # 4 by John Rozum
Night Lights - John Rozum

Of the two X-Files comic collections I picked up, this was the stronger. I feel like these three stories pushed the boundaries of what the X-Files could do. Network television, especially in the 90s, was limited in what it could and could not do. Rozum seems to have caught on that, while he couldn't make canonical changes to the series, he could definitely do some weird shit.

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