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review 2018-03-20 17:25
Stephen King’s first book, a true classic: read the book where it all started!
Carrie (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) - Stephen King

I have FINALLY read ‘Carrie’, Stephen King’s first book. Yes, it was his FIRST book!
Reading a book when you already know the story so well (from the movie) is such a different experience than reading the book and then watching the movie, but it’s even more different when it’s one like this. I’ve seen ‘Carrie’ so many times because it’s one of my favorite horror films (not talking about any stupid remake, despite the fact I happen to have the book copy that is the remake movie tie-in. Remakes of good films are blasphemy). The original movie is perfection with Piper Laurie and Sissy Spacek and when reading the book, is was VERY hard for me not to get their images out of my mind. It was brilliant casting, for a brilliant story.
When reading this pretty short book (it comes in at basically 300 pages, which is so short, when you compare it to the behemoths of IT and The Stand), you are transported to 1979 immediately by the language, the descriptions of the clothing, and even the comparative style of King’s writing. It’s kind of a treat and a bit of a time warp you are pulled into. It took a bit of getting used to, along with the way King uses different narrative styles; the reader is given reports of the main ‘incident’, as well as character accounts, and intersperses them into the main story. If you didn’t know the ending from seeing the movie, you would have a good idea about a lot of it from these accounts as you go through.
As for the dynamic between Carrie and her hellacious (sorry, have to say it) mother, the interactions are horrific and they make your blood boil and King has given all he can to make the dread and tension so vivid. By writing in Carrie’s ‘thoughts’ we get little peeks into what’s going on in her mind as her powers are getting stronger; you start rooting for the girl who is being bullied, dominated, threatened all her life. You just know that there is no other way for this story to end.
What is most interesting to me now is the contrast with what what acceptable in terms of what kids could get away with (in terms of bullying and hazing) at school, compared to now. That’s a whole other story.
Anyway, I’m glad I finally got to read it as part of a Litsy buddy read. I love the movie so much, and it’s amazing to think that this is where Stephen King’s book career started. With a short novel that had one of most memorable horror movies made out of it.
*Don’t ever bother with the remake though.

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review 2018-03-17 05:16
‘Time Bomb’ is like ‘The Breakfast Club’ with an awful school bombing; suggests teens might just be ticking ‘time bombs’
Time Bomb - Joelle Charbonneau

This was an extremely fast read for me; I flew through ‘Time Bomb’ in a matter of hours, and it almost felt like I was following a similar clock to the one that was ticking away in the book. Six exceedingly different students, not unlike seen with the setup in the movie ‘The Breakfast Club’, find themselves trapped together because of the horrific circumstance of someone having set off bombs at their school (although, conveniently, school isn't quite in session yet, so there aren’t mass casualties).
The wrecked and damaged school that has them stuck inside, suspicious of each other, is a reminder of all the problems that schools represent for schoolchildren today: the gun debate because of the mass shootings inside schools, bullying, kids and their constant need to live up to certain standards, whether it’s their own or others’, unchecked mental illness, prejudice of others based on appearances...and by bringing ALL of this up in the teens’ conversations and through their own perspectives, Charbonneau makes the novel about more than just the bombs going off at this high school. The different stereotypes that the kids all fit into, serve to remind us that, right up until the end, when we find out ‘whodunnit’ all these kids are essentially ticking ‘time bombs’ waiting to go off. If not then, they could at some point. I think it’s easy to focus on the event of the bombs in this book, and kind of ignore that it’s all emblematic of the tumultuouness of teenagehood.
While ‘Time Bomb’ held my attention all the way through, I think this all could have been delved into in a more concrete way, because there were a lot of open doors to explore the hard issues that these teens were going through. Overall though, it’s a definite page-turner as far as the story and action go, with a surprise twist at the end.

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review 2018-03-01 03:06
Brave - Svetlana Chmakova


Brave is the sequel to Awkwardan amazing graphic novel about navigating middle school life. Brave follows the same basic group of kids, with a different main character. In Brave, Jensen (the art club kid from Awkward who is obsessed with sunspots) learns about bullying. He doesn't think he is a victim at first, but he gradually begins to understand what being bullied really means. He compares his school day to a video game, a constant struggle to avoid the "bad guys" and traps; making it through the day is a struggle for "survival."


This book has a bit more mature content compared with Awkward. There is no sex or serious violence, but the bullies call Jensen "fatso" and "stupid" and Jensen uses the phrase "makes my life a living hell." Compared to the overall message in this book, these are tiny considerations. But, as a parent, you should know what you are getting into. Many of our 3rd graders read Awkward and their parents might not think they are ready for this one.


Overall, this is a great book that describes realities of middle school, bullying, feeling alone, making friends, and standing up for yourself. I highly recommend it to 4th grade and up. 

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review 2018-02-25 17:40
3.8 Out Of 5 STARS for Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
Bonfire - Krysten Ritter







It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.  


But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company, and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.


Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.


With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question, can you ever outrun your past?






Krysten Ritter, who plays Jessica Jones on the Netflix series, wrote a novel.  It's not bad, either.  Bonfire is compulsively readable or listenable, considering I did listen.  The mystery is atmospheric and layered.  The characters are clearly flawed.


On the surface, it reads like another small town girl who was tormented in high school returns home to face her enemies and bring down the company that is her hometown's savior…Erin Brockovich style.  Then somewhere along the way it turned into something much more lascivious and diabolical than poisoned water. 


While not without its flaws, and despite my confusion with the MC's constant state of drunkenness and her dreamlike memories that come to surface whenever she is in this state (it seemed to me that she never remembered how she came to be drunk in the first place), I found this to be an engaging read.  After my last two Audiobooks, I needed something that I would like, and this stepped up to the plate.  











Plot~ 3.9/5

Main Characters~ 3.8/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.


Book Cover~ I like it…it goes well with the story

Narration~ My Grade for the narration by Karissa Vacker is a B+, I found her voice is easily listenable.

Setting~ Barrens, Indiana

Source~ Audiobook (Library)



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text 2018-02-14 22:33
Notifications... I miss them so much...

I have nothing else to add. 


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