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review 2018-08-19 21:21
Quick Comment: To All The Boys I've Love Before
To All the Boys I've Loved Before - JennyHan

If it wasn't because my friend recommended me the book (or rather, forced me to read it) I probably wouldn't have picked it up myself. I'd just think "it's not my kind of book".
To All The Boys I've Loved Before surprised me. It has a kind, funny story that develops the characters beyond the main romance arc, and I found many aspects of Lara Jean's life (the protagonist) relatable. I guess I don't see it as a literary "masterpiece" or anything, but I really did enjoyed reading it. It was fun, and quite fast to read. I'd say that in general it's a light read, but I must confess some parts had me burying my face in the book, putting it down to breathe, or tempting me to turn to the end of the chapter to see how things turn out.
My friend's goal all along was for me to finish it before the movie came out (last Friday on Netflix) and I did, just in time. Of course, as always, I have to say it... The book was better! But the movie is still very good to watch if you are in a rom-com kind of mood. Books always have more space for character development and exploration, so that's probably why I prefer them.
Now, my friend lend me the second. Lets see how it goes!

 

 

Photo cred: http://www.whatsfilming.ca

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-19 20:41
July 2018 — A Wrap Up

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on August 19, 2018.

 

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Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

 

“Silver”

I finally learned how Samuel and Bran became werewolves. The story is dark and violent but that seems fitting.

 

“Roses in Winter”

Asil, an aging werewolf in the Marrok’s pack is more man than beast. An innocent girl, Kara, begins to change all that.

 

“Redemption”

Ben has always been an interesting character in the Mercy series. He is misogynistic and can’t say two words without cursing. He also has a lot of baggage to deal with due to an abusive past. Yet he redeems himself in this story!

 

“Hollow”

I don’t really remember much about this one, except that it felt incomplete. Funny thing is that this one featured Mercy and I loved the one before this and the one before that.

 

“Fairy Gifts”

This is the story of Thomas the vampire who comes back home to repay a favor. I found it boring.

 

“Gray”

Elyna Gray is a vampire who must face the consequences of her actions when she killed the man she loved. Sad but interesting story.

 

“Alpha and Omega”

I have never really cared about the other series. This story takes us back to the first time Marrok’s son Charles met his wife Anna. I found it okayish. You can see the author’s uncertainty about the whole concept of Omega werewolves. She hasn’t gotten there yet and the story suffers for it.

 

“Seeing Eye”

A werewolf Tom meets a witch Moira. Gruesome things happen in this one but I liked it anyway. One thing that bothers me is why the author looks down on witches’ magic and the whole concept that it comes from pain and blood sacrifice. Even when she is describing white magic, it feels as if she is against it. Why though?

 

“The Star of David”

David Christiansen gets a family reunion that gives him a reason to continue living. Scary as heck but a feel-good story.

 

“In Red, with Pearls”

We are allowed to peek into the relationship that the werewolf Warren has with his boyfriend Kyle. While I love em both and together, I wasn’t a fan of this one. Warren was too overprotective of Kyle and not in a good way. I solved the identity of the person who hired the hit as soon as they were mentioned, which took the fun out of the story even more.

 

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Loki: Agent of Asgard, Vols. 1 & 2 by Al Ewing

 

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Classic Loki antics. Plans within plans within plans. I wasn’t crazy about this one but it wasn’t bad either. As usual, Loki is trying to do the right thing in the wrongest of ways and for worse reasons. We see a glimpse of the Avengers in the first one. The second featured Doctor Doom.

 

 

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Ms. Marvel, Vol. 8: Mecca by G. Willow Wilson

 

The humor characteristic of the series is seen in this volume too. Red Dagger shows up in Kamala’s playground. She celebrates Eid-ul-Azha. Kamala also runs away and finds out more people are supporting her and rooting for her than she thought. Captain Marvel makes an appearance and they patch up. In all, a fun installment. Can’t wait to read what happens next! Find my review of the previous volume here.

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The Wilds #1 & 2 by Vita Ayala

 

So, the premise is good. The U.S. plays host to a plague that is slowly turning people into plants. The art is beautiful and the confrontations with those human-plant hybrids are adequately terrifying. Of course, there is a government conspiracy going on that I suppose we’ll find out in about in the next issues. But there seems to be something missing. Mostly though, I couldn’t bring myself to care for any of the characters. That means I dunno if I will be picking up the next in the series.

 

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Moonshine, Vol. 1 by Brian Azzarello

 

A man who works for the mafia is sent to convince a rustic moonshine-maker. His boss wants to be the sole distributor of the amazing liquor. But when the poor guy reaches the place, strange things begin to happen. I liked the dark feel of the comic and the art too. Even so, like The Wilds, the something that would make me rip into the following issues eagerly isn’t there!

 

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Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon

 

The wittiness of the TV series is missing from the graphic novel. It was short and the end came abruptly. The artist translated the facial features of all characters with accuracy, except for Inara’s. She didn’t look right! I am still glad I bought this book because it came with an introduction by Nathan Fillion.

 

It seems I didn’t get much reading done in July and still managed to delay blogging about it. Shit happens! How was July for you?

 

 

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review 2018-08-19 16:54
Unseen by me
An Unseen Attraction - K.J. Charles

My friends' list has nothing but love for this author and book and I have a bad feeling this could be one of those "Everyone but me" moments. This is the first time I have tried this author, so I'll give it another chance but this really just did not hit the mark with me.

 

The synopsis starts off with stating this is a "slow-burning romance". Our couple have their first sexual experience/play/moment by chapter four; that is not my personal want from a slow-burning romance. What I do like seems to have happened before our story starts off,  Clem and Rowley's relationship has already developed to the point of friendship with attraction and we the reader's are coming in when they are finally ready to act on it. I mostly favor the initial spark and building rather than the finally acting sexually on it. 

 

Another personal dislike was Rowley's taxidermy, the author does a great job describing, explaining, and realistically weaving it into the story but for someone who loves human slasher movies, I just can't read about people wanting to stuff their pets and Rowley explaining the process. Greatly appreciate the research and depth but bowels and skinning animals is not for me, but like I said, didn't seem to bother the majority of people.

 

I think this would be better to be described as a slow-burning mystery, as the building, plot, and pace slowly reeled you in, I also think the mystery dominated the story more. Their chemistry wasn't as sparking as I usually like but missing that beginning building probably hurt this for me.

 

The mystery isn't fully solved in this but I'm not sure I'm going to continue with the series, I think I might try another of hers in a different one. I hope this isn't one of those everyone loves but me authors :/

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text 2018-08-19 01:11
Out Adventuring...

I'll be away for the next couple of days. 

 

(View from the Elephant House Cafe, known to the world largely because some of the story of a certain wizard was written here. It's a lovely cafe even without that connection.)

 

It's time again for the Edinburgh Festival and I'll be in the in the throng of the mayhem. Well, not quite...I'll be the person going to the performances at the fringes of The Fringe and nowhere near the Royal Mile or High Street because the crowds in that area are just way.too.much. 

 

So, I'll be galavanting around the quieter(ish) parts.

 

I've already started off on a high note with a gin tasting that was also combined with a musical performance. It was pretty good, but I would not call it "cabaret" (as the event's description claimed). But that is the Edinburgh Festival for you - lots to try out, most will not be anything like the description in the programme, but you just need to roll with it. Also, did I mention that the even included a gin tasting? It's all good.

 

I have a couple of other things planned for tomorrow but other than that, I'll just see where the fates of the festival will take me. 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-18 14:44
Creature by Hunter Shea
Creature (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Hunter Shea

Creature by Hunter Shea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate Woodson's life is not what she expected. Once being a very active and lively woman, she now is a victim of her own body. Happiness is a thing of the past, however Andrew believes they can find some form of it in Maine, where a lake-house becomes available for the summer. The married couple thus set off, eager and full of hope, desiring the serenity of nature. Nature has other plans, however, as something resides within the dark, and it seeks their undivided attention.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Flame Tree Press for giving me the opportunity.

I couldn’t help but notice the high amount of praise from the horror community regarding this particular Shea novel, so I was quick to jump aboard that train and request it myself. What immediately became apparent was how disturbed I felt right from the get-go, but not in the typical sense that relates to the genre. Rather, it was the very real and disquieting portrayal of Kate that provoked such a response. To have such a chronically ill main character was almost a shock to the system; I can’t say I’ve witnessed something to that extent during my travels into the dark. Her every waking moment was a challenge, and I couldn’t help but feel that this was, potentially, a very personal topic for the author - it was the in-depth, almost intimate account of Kate’s suffering. Upon reaching the end, I discovered I was correct, in that autoimmune diseases are a very familiar antagonist in Shea's life. No wonder the writing held such passion.

First and foremost, let me state that the plot put an incredible amount of emphasis on the relationship between Andrew and Kate, which very much included the hardships and struggles that frequented their day to day life. I was warmed by their tenacious bond - something most of us yearn for, yet their marriage wasn’t without its share of problems. The painfully realistic and unwanted thoughts that often plagued their minds were a relatable aspect that only padded out their already authentic depiction. It was fairly easy early on to discern just how dependable this book was on characterisation and atmosphere; the first fifty percent was rather uneventful in terms of monsters and gore. I’m not saying there’s no horror, because there was a great deal of it, but some of it required a deeper look into what was presented. As for the creature itself when it came into play, well, it certainly got my mind theorising as to what exactly it was and its origins. At first I believed it to be something typical, but I was surprised to discover it wasn't as obvious as I initially assumed. I favour a good, creative approach to any plot, and this was no different.

This being my first experience with Shea's work, I was thrilled by the reckless abandon in which he penned his violence. There's something special about carnage that has no boundaries in terms of who's going to end up as a corpse, and I felt that spark of excitement whilst anticipating the brutality that would come next. It was worth it - to follow these very real individuals into chaos.

I can honestly say that this proved to be great read, and it nearly reached five stars. My hesitation however lies in the ending and my lack of emotion at what ultimately transpired. By the life of me I can’t explain why I didn’t feel much of anything, but I do massively rely on my feelings to dictate the final outcome. It's a shame, considering my attachment up until that point. Perhaps I found it too abrupt; the fate of those that survived probably would have proved more satisfying.

In conclusion: I became quickly engrossed in this undeniably character-driven tale. I felt connected to the characters and their relationship, and it was as if I was a member of their family. The straight-forward prose was able to convey the harshness of their reality, which induced a lot of emotion within me. It was the ending that I became detached, but in the scheme of things it mattered little when I thoroughly enjoyed the journey to get there. Oh, and Buttons was a hero.

Notable Scene:

Andrew grabbed the doorknob and was about to twist it when he stopped, suddenly unsure. He took a deep, steadying breath and tried again, heart thudding, skin crawling, at war with himself but knowing deep down he had to see. More than anything, he had to see what was out there.

© Red Lace 2018


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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/08/18/creature-by-hunter-shea
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