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text 2019-12-30 23:35
Reading Update: 30%
Aurora Blazing: A Novel (The Consortium Rebellion Book 2) - Jessie Mihalik

The issue I had with the fat needing to be trimmed in the first is fixed here; much tighter story.
I’m about 30% in and loving this so far!
Slow burn couple with Tension


Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik purchase link


S'mores Popcorn Balls recipe

What are the holidays without popcorn balls?? This was a fun, yummy, and easy twist on them.


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review 2019-12-30 20:07
Needs the fat trimmed
Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1) - Jessie Mihalik

This definitely had a The League series by Sherrilyn Kenyon vibe, scifi/space opera/warring factions, if you liked that series, you'll want to give this one a go.

This was a debut and I felt like I could tell with how the overall story needed to be tightened up more. This was first person pov by the heroine Ada and while I enjoyed her voice and character, there was too much talk of going through the motions of menial tasks. 20-50% and around the 70% mark, my eyes glazed over a couple times. I just thought the fat needed to be trimmed and the story tightened up.

This was very much a first in the series with the world building and setting up of plot threads, like I said, I enjoyed Ada's character but her love interest, Loch, was only a pencil sketch to me. Not having his pov probably added to this but only hinting at and introducing the Genesis Project plot, instead of investing some time on it, kept me from fully knowing his character.

Ada and Loch spend a lot of time together and their attraction is very much a part of the story but at the same time, not really the focus. Their attraction and relationship never matured enough for me to feel it was solid and therefore wasn't very emotionally investing for me.

The strength here was the setting up of plot threads, warring Houses, modifying human DNA, faked death, political intrigue, teasing of future romance couples, and what, I'll intelligently, call space stuff/atmosphere.

The writing has a smoothness and, like I said, there are some intriguing threads set-up, that I'm on board for reading the second in the series.

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text 2019-12-30 00:42
Reading Update: 50%
Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1) - Jessie Mihalik

Why were the attractive ones always criminals?


This has a definite The League series vibe by Sherrilyn Kenyon to it.

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review 2019-12-01 21:30
Out Now
Voice of Rebellion - Roberta Staley
Disclaimer: ARC via a Librarything giveaway.

There is a debate among those who read biography (most likely more than one debate, but let’s just focus on this one). It has to do with the use of dialogue in biography, more specifically with the use of conversations that had to occur long ago and weren’t transcribed or recorded. Some people don’t mind them, perhaps even like them, but some don’t. I don’t. They work on basic level because of the nature of story telling and how we response to stories. But the academic in me is constantly wondering -was that really the conversation and how do you know that’s exactly what was said.

Staley makes use of such literary device, too much for my taste. So, if you feel differently, you should take that into account.

Staley’s book is biography of Mozhdah Jamalzadah, a singer who, when she was a young girl, immigrated with her family to Canada from Afghanistan. She went on to bring an Oprah Winfrey type of talk show to Afghanistan as well as to perform Afghan pop music.

Jamalzadah’s family was forced to leave Afghanistan during the 1980s because of her father’s position and political views. The biography’s first section details the family’s escape to Pakistan. While Mozhdah herself obviously did not have much to do with the planning and escape, the account showcases her parents’ strength of will and determination which they apparently passed down to their daughter. (In fact, it almost seems like Staley wants to tell the parents’ story, which itself sounds like it makes an interesting book).

The next part of the book details the family’s experiences in Canada and focuses shifts mostly to Mozhdah. And, strangely, it’s where the book loses a spark, a note, or a step. It isn’t that Staley’s writing shifts. She writes well, but there is a feeling of never quite getting to know Mozhdah Jamalzadah. In part, this has to do with details. For instance, she mentions Jamalzadah’s interest and heavy reading at one point, but doesn’t mention any of the books. There is a general sense of things but not much specifics outside the use of dialogue. To be fair, it must be difficult to write about a young and still living subject, even one who is cooperating. This might explain why the other children of the family seem to disappear (perhaps they did not want to feature in the book), but these generalities and missing facets are felt.

This is alleviated somewhat when Jamalzadah and her mother journey to Afghanistan to film the show. The challenges that Mozhdah faces range from the dangers of a country in a state of war to threats on her person because of her unwillingness to be a traditional, quiet woman as opposed to the feminist she is carry the weight, though even here there are gaps that feel strange. The focus is mostly on the career without too much depth, and there is little personal detail. It’s almost like there is a better book screaming to be let out.
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text 2019-08-20 22:28
BoB26 Daily Challenge, Day 2 - Adaptions Aspirations
Rebellion - Nora Roberts

I chose Rebellion (The MacGregors #6) by Nora Roberts as my adaption aspirations. It is a story that would appeal to Outlander fans but with more romance and so much less abuse.



Scotland, 1745. Against the bloody background of the Battle of Culloden, another war was waged and won the price was honor, the victory, love.

Scottish beauty Serena MacGregor's hatred of all English began as a child when she watched as a band of Englishmen attacked her mother. Her brother's friend Brigham Langston was no exception to Serena's loathing despite his supposed loyalty to the Scottish cause and his good looks.

Although Brigham eventually proves himself worthy of the MacGregor family's respect, Serena is still reluctant to abandon her hatred for him and his heritage. But Brigham has other plans. Serena has captivated him with her beauty, her passion for life and commitment to her beliefs and he refuses to let her antagonistic attitude keep him from winning her. And Serena must learn to open her mind as Brigham opens his heart to see the true love awaiting her.


I think it would work best as a limited tv series (maybe a two or three night event) and to a lesser extent a movie. So to fan cast:


Serena MacGregor: Saoirse Ronan would be a wonderful choice to play the female lead character. Just dye her hair red or don a realistic wig and just do it.


Brigham Langston: Zachary Quinto has the look and the acting chops. Also I just want more Quinto in the world.


Serena's mom: Julianne Moore


Serena's brother/Langston's BFF: Kevin McKidd - an actual Scot!


Serena's dad: Robert Redford 


Serena's BFF/sister-in-law: Emma Stone in a dark brown wig


Bonnie Prince Charles: Damian Lewis



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