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text 2019-01-17 23:00
Movie Review: Jurassic Park

 

Title: Jurassic Park
Release Date: 1993
Starring: Sam Neill, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
Length: 2h 6min
Rating: PG-13

Favourite character: Ellie Sattler
Favourite dinosaur: Dilophosaurus
Crush: Ian Malcolm (duh)
Least favourite character: Gennaro
Favourite line: Yeah, but John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.

Mini-Review: The first time I ever watched this movie, I turned it off at the washroom scene. If you’ve seen this movie, you know what I’m talking about. The scene when Ellie and Alan first see the dinosaurs makes me cry. For someone who is squeamish, I enjoy this movie a lot. I just have to figure out when to close my eyes/leave the room.

 

 

 

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text 2019-01-10 03:59
Book Review: Little House on the Prairie
Little House on the Prairie - Garth Williams,Laura Ingalls Wilder

Title: Little House on the Prairie
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Series: Little House, #2
Format: paperback
Length: 335 pages

 

Synopsis: Laura Ingalls and her family are heading to Kansas! Leaving behind their home in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, they travel by covered wagon until they find the perfect spot to build a little house on the prairie. Laura and her sister Mary love exploring the rolling hills around their new home, but the family must soon get to work, farming and hunting and gathering food for themselves and for their livestock. Just when the Ingalls family starts to settle into their new home, they find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict. Will they have to move again?

 

Favourite character: Pa
Least favourite character: N/A
Favourite line: N/A

 

Mini-review: Another adorable book about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood that makes me in a way wish I could live in those times and in another way makes me want to cling to my modern appliances.

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review 2019-01-09 03:42
The Stranger Inside
The Stranger Inside - Laura Benedict

The more I read of this book the more I felt that the main character, Kimber, deserved what was happening to her. I didn't like Kimber as a child, she was an annoying and selfish brat. As an adult I also found her to be a selfish brat. I do have to say that Kimber finally grew on me when everything started to be revealed towards the end. I can't say that I didn't see some of the twists coming but I was still overall surprised with what happened towards the end and what Kimber ended up finding out. I am going to leave this as a bare bones review because I don't want to spoil anything but I would recommend reading this book.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.<!--/data/user/0/com.samsung.android.app.notes/files/share/clipdata_190108_213649_094.sdoc-->

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review 2019-01-06 09:59
A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz
A Bound Heart - Laura Frantz

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning--together. Laura Frantz's prose sparkles with authenticity and deep feeling as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in Colonial America.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up together on the Isle of Kerrera, Scotland. Now it's the year of 1752 and Magnus is laird of Kerrera Castle while Lark is the castle beekeeper, herbalist and manager of the castle stillroom. When Magnus's young wife, Isla, suffers her 6th miscarriage, he goes to Lark requesting something that will not only bring his wife physical comfort while her body mends but also something to help her successfully bring a child to term. Lark certainly has elixirs for pain management, but getting a pregnancy to stick? That's trickier. She seeks counsel from her grandmother, who trained her in the ways of medicinal plants. Lark's grandmother vaguely remembers something that may work, but she's struggling to recall the full recipe. 

 

When Lark's cousin goes into labor (this is a baby-making lovin' place, people!) Lark rushes to assist. Upon her return to Kerrera Castle, she finds the place in an uproar. Castle staff tell a wild story about Lady Isla apparently going mad from something, running off, her body later discovered at the bottom of a cliff. To Lark's shock and horror, fingers point to her as the culprit, even though several voices come to her defense, noting that she wasn't even in the area when all this went down!

 

It's for naught though... she's the herbalist, and it's suspected that Isla's sudden burst of madness was due to an overdose... but Lark hadn't given her anything yet, so how can that be? At least, nothing that would cause that kind of reaction in a person. What really went down? Lark's guess: Isla, having previously showed signs of depression, turned suicidal. Her parents, not wanting to deal with any social stigma attached to suicide, looked to have a scapegoat to save face for the family name. Lark was the easiest target. 

 

After a short joke of a trial, Isla is found guilty of manslaughter. Rather than the death penalty, she is sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies (Virginia, specifically) for the duration of 3 years. Placed on a womens' transport ship, she gets word that two Kerrera locals are on the mens' transport: Laird Magnus (charged with wearing a kilt, of all things) and Lark's pirate friend, Rory MacPherson (charged with smuggling goods).

 

Magnus uses his connections to pull some strings and have Lark moved to the mens' ship, so that she may serve as the ship's herbalist / botanist. Immediately, Lark's beauty grabs the attention of every man on board, though Rory finds himself unable to shake the sailor's superstition of women on a ship being bad luck. {Considering the events that later unfold, he may have been onto something!}

 

Magnus has his work cut out for him, protecting Lark from the ship's lust-filled men, the main one to watch being Surgeon Alick Blackburn. Magnus and Lark now both being convicted criminals -- guilty or not -- brings them back more on equal footing, as far as societal ranking goes. Lark's family name, MacDougall, was once one of great prestige but later fell out of favor and "time and misfortune turned them common". In recent years, Magnus's family line had taken hard hits as well -- father killed in battle, mother and sister dead from pox, Magnus's wife's struggles with pregnacy... and now she's gone... with Magnus headed to the New World, people may give an impressed nod to his former titled self, but it'll mean little else beyond that outside his homeland. Besides, Magnus hears rumors that he may be sent to a Jamaican estate to serve out his sentence, not Virginia with Lark. Can he manage to find a way to stay with her? If not, can he convince her to wait for his return?

 

Though I have a few other of Frantz's books on my TBR shelf, this is the first of hers I've now read. Inspired by the story of some of Frantz's own ancestors, A Bound Heart lacked a lot of heart IMO. It's not a bad story by any means, but all the 5 star ratings I'm already seeing for it (being offically released just a few days ago) strike me as awfully generous. Frantz has a solidly enjoyable writing style, the novel definitely shows the woman is dedicated to research! The novel is detail-rich, but almost to a fault, as the plot is very slow-going. 

 

Now typically I don't hate a slow-burn novel if a steady increase or layering in plot complications or character histories can be seen. I'm all about being invested in fictional worlds! Unfortunately, this one fell a tad short for me in that department and I found myself not only not attached to the characters but I think at one point I believe I literally fell asleep mid-read. There are little bursts of action here and there but they are SUPER brief. The rest of the story seems to be just general conversing, lots and lots of conversations going down while characters (and readers) wait for their lives to turn eventful. That said, I will say the pace of things noticeably picks up once our primary characters board the transport ships. 

 

The romances -- or the suggestion of pairings, anyway -- tickled me about as much as flat soda. The only character that really struck my interest was Lark's smuggler friend, Captain Rory. He appeared pretty personable in the beginning of the novel, but boy, did he end up showing his true colors towards the end! Trevor grew on me a bit, but he seemed like the type who'd want to pin down Lark's strong, independent nature. As far as Magnus and Lark, there's a sweet friendship there to be admired but the reader isn't really given enough of a backstory between them to really feel much for them beyond that. 

 

The glossary for Scottish terminology provided at the beginning of the book was helpful. While I was already familiar with some of the terms, there were a few in there that I'd never heard used before. Also a nice touch, the quotes from famous poets, novelists and philosophers that Frantz uses to foreshadow each chapter's events. She found some particularly great quotes to reference! 

 

FTC Disclaimer: Revell Books kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.

 

 

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review 2019-01-02 04:35
Audiobook Review: What Happens at Midnight by Laura Chapman (Author), Kay Heart (Narrator)
What Happens at Midnight - Laura Chapman

 

 

What Happens at MidnightWhat Happens at Midnight by Laura Chapman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Audiobook ReviewWhat Happens at Midnight by Laura Chapman (Author), Kay Heart (Narrator)

What if your heart was stuck on repeat and had to relive the same heartache all over again? Will there ever be the chance to finally get love right? Chapman will most certainly own a piece of any heart with What Happens at Midnight. Natalie is a combination of hopeless romantic and heartbroken dreamer. When fate presents her with the opportunity to get her happy ending, nothing will keep her from taking a chance on forever. From the charming dialogue, captivating story and angst filled narration Chapman and Heart ring in the new year with a bit help from the ghost of Christmas past and the magic of a Happy New Year.



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