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review 2017-05-14 21:48
Review: Look to the Sun
Look To The Sun - Emmie Mears

Mears takes on a large scope with this novel, one I'm not quite convinced they have the skill to pull off just yet, but I still mostly enjoyed reading it.


There's a book one character has a crate of copies of, but nobody she knows has read. When she meets a man who has also read it, they feel an immediate connection. Then some parts of real life start to feel like scenes from the book.


There's a fascist regime finally growing enough power to begin overturning society and purging undesirables. This is in a world where families traditionally take on any sort of combination you can think of between consenting adults. But don't worry, in addition to these "deviants," there are also immigrants to blame for whatever the party wants. 


All the pieces fit together in a satisfying way by the end, but much of the story is just these two characters floating along on the world building. Then, inexplicably having secondary characters ask them what to do next or giving them information on the resistance movement that really shouldn't go to such junior members. 


I don't know. I had a hard time getting into this book and never really felt like I had a good grasp of the characters. Solid concepts, though. And some individual scenes are fantastic. I hope Mears tries some more stuff like this. They have some great ideas, even if this particular book wasn't quite a hit for me.

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review 2017-05-14 19:52
You Don't Look Your Age: and Other Fairy Tales
You Don't Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales - Sheila Nevins

Last night after reading 40% of this novel, I just didn’t see what the excitement over this novel was. I have been seeing this novel pop up on different social media sites and I was excited to get my hands on it when it was released. I found myself reading a variety of short stories, all with different themes but there was nothing memorable about any of them. I have to call it quits, I am throwing in the towel, a DNF novel for me. Obviously, not a book for me.

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review 2017-05-14 16:07
Out in sept
To Look a Nazi in the Eye: A Teen's Account of a War Criminal Trial - Kathy Kacer,Jordana Lebowitz

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley


                When the trial of Oskar Groening of aiding and abetting the killing of Jews in Auschwitz. started, I actually discussed it with a student.  We had both seen the series on Auschwitz done by BBC and Lawrence Rees.  In it, Groening is interviewed.  My student wonder two things – why it took so long for Groening to be arrested, especially after the interview and whether her interest in the Holocaust was wrong.

                She would like this book.

                In many ways, Jordana Lebowitz reminds me of that student with an interest in something that happened long before her birth.  True, Lebowitz is Jewish and my student was not.  But the burning need to know is something that they have in common.  Though guts and determination, Lebowitz is able to make it to the trial and witness it.  This book is the story of that determination and the trial itself.

                Sadly, the book is far from perfect.

                Now, don’t get me wrong.  There is much that is good in this book.  In many ways, this is a book that most teens and young adults should read because it makes connections between then and now.  Lebowitz’s story not only shows the importance of history and remembrance, but how the younger generation can get involved. 

                Yet, there is also a sense of wanting something more from the book.  In part, this is due to the chosen style.  Referring to Lebowitz in third person, doesn’t work.  It actually distances the reader in a way that is a bit disconcerting, and the use of passive voice doesn’t help in terms of this.  There are also some weird juxtapositions – like the overlooking of Lebowitz’s grandmother’s reaction to her granddaughter’s proposed trip.  Perhaps this reaction does have something to do with the Holocaust as well?  The inclusion of Groening’s testimony , while understandable, is also somewhat strange as it is taken from sources, something that is only made clear at the end of each entry.

                The thing is Lebowitz’s blog on trial, done for the Simon Wiesenthal center, doesn’t suffer from this.  Undoubtedly, there are copyright resections and such, but if Lebowitz had had more of a voice, I wonder if this book would have been a smoother read.

                That said, it isn’t a bad read.  It is one worth reading, especially for teens and young adults.

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review 2017-05-10 08:00
Look - Jon Nielsen

Artie, the cute robot from the cover, Wall-Es his way through life when he starts wondering why he does what he does. What follows is a strange mix of boring and just not so good, that left me wondering 'why did I read this?'.

Let's start with the good things. The art was not special but it was nice. Artie's really cute, and has a nice interaction with his friend Owen, the Vulture. That's about it.

The story was filled with a lot of interchangeable/forgettable characters and scenes with clunky expositions. I was not a fan. Which is a shame, because I had good expectations for this one!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2017-05-04 04:42
Brief Thoughts: Don't Look Away
Don't Look Away - Leslie A. Smith

Don't Look Away

by Leslie A. Kelly

Book 1 of Veronica Sloan




Detective Veronica Sloan isn't shocked by much.  Having lived through the worst terrorist attacks in history — which destroyed much of Washington, D.C. — she's immune to even the most vicious brutality.  But even she is stunned by the discovery of a murder in the basement of the under-reconstruction White House.

Sloan and FBI Agent Jeremy Sykes have been assigned to investigate the homicide because the victim was a participant in a top-secret experiment.  Veronica has been training for just this kind of case, waiting to use her special skills, anxious to learn if a recording device implanted in a victim's head can help solve their murder … before the killer strikes again.

Barring all the typos I stumbled across, and the slow start, this book got interesting as it progressed.  Being a more futuristic type of book, even if it's set only a few years in the future, it was kind of hard to pick up on all the new lingo and all the "history" of the present timeline.

Veronica was not an easy character to relate to, and sometimes came off extremely judgmental; but then she'd correct herself by revisiting earlier snap judgments she makes about people, and properly accept that she was wrong.  I don't know what to think about her.

And then we even have a sort of love triangle--I don't like love triangles.  And in this case, I think it would have been handled well if there had been better chemistry between the respective points involved.  At least Veronica points out the obvious, resenting the fact that they are in the middle of a murder investigation, a rather cruel and gruesome one at that, and the two men around her are too busy posturing and trying to pee their territory around her.

Anyway, I wasn't really all that impressed by the O.E.P. technology that was presented in this book.  The hype and the curiosity that came about made me think that there was a lot more to the optical tech than we actually ended up finding.  In the end, it was all just a fancy, more glamorized kind of body cam that really only snaps non-motion pictures once every second.

While that DOES make for a nice way to watch a crime happening from a victim's perspective, as we can see, there are loopholes and workarounds.  If the perpetrator knows that the O.E.P. technology exists and has been implanted in the victim, said perpetrator can take many precautions to ensure that he or she can still get away with the crime.  Simply remove the head and hide it, or bash in the skull and completely ruin the optical chip, or just wear a mask or find some way to blind the victim.

Truthfully, I was actually expecting something a bit more advanced and... well, fancier.

Time to adjust my mindset, I suppose.

Though at the very least, the criminal investigation wasn't bad, though I would have liked to see more of it.  While our two main characters spend their time looking at photos from their victims' O.E.P. files, a lot of the actual investigating happens behind the scenes, conducted by Veronica's police detective partner.  And while the main culprit wasn't really predictable, the way some of the events in the story progression occurs was predictable.

Finally, this book kind of ends on a cliff-hanger, which means I need to pick up the second book ASAP.  I don't like cliff-hangers.




Roll #4:
Our MC, Veronica, is a police detective.

Page Count:  323
Cash Award:  +$3.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $30.00

See Also: Fourth Roll Activities









Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/brief-thoughts-dont-look-away.html
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