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review 2017-05-20 11:49
The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil #3)
The School for Good and Evil #3: The Last Ever After - Soman Chainani

This was an entertaining end to an entertaining series. I know that’s kind of lukewarm praise, but this kitten squisher clocks in at 655 pages and roughly 400 of those are mostly filled with Agatha bickering with Tedros and constantly battling her self-doubt while Sophie, being monstrously selfish (as usual), obstinately reinstates the old love triangle that wasn’t nearly as annoying in the first two books. I could’ve done with at least 100 fewer pages of that. Maybe 200. Since I was bored with the angst my inner pedant had plenty of time to focus on the little issues that have slightly irritated me throughout the trilogy.

 

Authors. There is nothing wrong with using ‘said’ as a dialog tag. It doesn’t matter if it gets repeated umpteen times in the book. It’s one of those words readers don’t even really notice. If you try to avoid it and replace it with alternative dialog tags, they stick out like a sore thumb.

 

Also, what’s the deal with Hester? She’s the daughter of the witch that Hansel and Gretel shoved in the oven and baked to death when they were kids. Hansel and Gretel are now wheelchair-bound relics. Hester is a teenager. How does that work?

 

And why does this book seem to forget the fact that Sophie straight up murdered multiple people in the first book? I mean, book two seemed to forget all but one murder most of the time, but at least it made a point of that one murder haunting Sophie. I can’t remember if it got more than a passing mention in this book.

 

TL;DR: This series is a fun romp through slightly twisted fairy tales with lots of true love and killing and maiming and stuff. I usually see it marketed as Middle Grade, but I'd say it's more upper MG or lower YA (what with the killing and maiming and stuff).

 

And one last thing: I want Merlin’s hat.

 

The End

 

...Or is it?*

 

*No, no it isn’t. The author is writing another series featuring the same characters.

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review 2017-05-17 07:25
Susannah's Garden
Susannah's Garden - Debbie Macomber

This is the 3rd book in the Blossom Street Series and it is also my favorite book in the series.  I'm not sure what it is about this book that makes me like it so much but I've read it 4 times (that I can remember).  I guess maybe it is because there is a mystery to be solved and I love mysteries.  I often have a hard time staying interested in books when there isn't a mystery. 

 

This book takes the reader away from Blossom Street when Susannah learns her widowed mother is not doing as well as she thought living alone.  She decides to go stay with her mother for a while and see how she is doing for herself.  She soon realizes her mother needs to be moved to a long-term care facility.  She was especially concerned when her mother tells her that her dead husband is coming to see her.  

 

Susannah also has another mission too, one she did not tell her husband about.  She wants to find her high school boyfriend and find out why he suddenly left and where he went.  While looking through her father's desk she uncovers some things that her father was keeping secret.  Together with one of her friends from high school they start to put the pieces together.

 

While Susannah is dealing with those things her daughter is home from college for the summer and decides to come and help her mom with her grandmother.  She ends up hooking up with a troublemaker that is the son of someone Susannah went to school with.  Susannah is sure he is dealing drugs and doesn't want her daughter to be involved with him but trying to talk to her daughter only causes more problems.  Her daughter is just like Susannah was when she was that age and she is learning how her dad must have felt.  

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review 2017-05-11 02:17
Graphic Memoir of Growing up in Iran
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - Marjane Satrapi,Mattias Ripa,Blake Ferris

 

 

Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

 

I love that this is told from Satrapi's point of view. It allows us to see a child's perspective of life during a revolution. There are vast differences between her home life and public life. We see how it feels for her to witness protests, hear her parents' worries, deal with loss, and try to decide who she is in the middle of all of this.

 

The story is touching and sad and also hopeful. I read this for my grad school multicultural literature class. I just found out that it is also an option for my daughter for summer reading this year. I'm going to encourage her to read it. :)

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review 2017-05-10 01:06
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Review)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling

Okay. So, you know how sometimes you read a book that is beloved by almost everyone on the planet, but you’re not really as into it as everyone else because you have absolutely no nostalgia attached to the book itself or the author, but it’s also been so long since you read it that you can’t really put into justifiable words why you thought it just wasn’t that awesome, and you’re kind of afraid all the raging fans will jump down your throat but you’ve got no defense because of the aforementioned long-ago reading of said book?

 

That’s basically where I am with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

 

I absolutely can’t wait to be done writing reviews for books I finished almost two (!) years ago because I feel kind of like an idiot for how few notes I took and also for waiting so long to type up how I felt about these books. The Harry Potter series is one where I know I’m in the minority (like…way, way down there), but I don’t have much I can defend my opinion with because, like I mentioned, I made the amateur decision to take no notes.

 

So here is a short and simple review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Fortunately, I know I felt very similar to it as I did to Philosopher’s Stone in most regards. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it just didn’t stick with me. My complaint with Rowling’s writing style in these early books is that they’re far too immature, and they focus more on action-action-action than any thought process or reflection in the characters. This book was even slower than Philosopher’s Stone in reaching a climax, so I was pretty bored by the time we got anywhere exciting.

 

One of my favorite parts of the first book was the world-building, but that took a backseat to everything else in the sequel. There wasn’t the same draw into the wizarding world because we already knew it existed, so this book lost a lot of sparkle for me. In addition, I felt like there was an increase in annoying characters and a decrease in the ones I enjoyed—Hermione wasn’t around for a good chunk of the book, but I really sometimes cannot stand Ron or Ginny. They are easily two of my least favorite characters in the series so far, and this book focused in large part on them (either because Ron was always with Harry or because Ginny was involved in a large part of the conflict).

 

Overall: Definitely not my favorite Harry Potter novel, and unfortunately, I’ve already read Prisoner of Askaban prior to writing this review, and I know I enjoy that one even less than I did this one. However, I’m certainly not giving up on Harry Potter this time around; I’m determined to see this series through to the end at least once, and hopefully fans will forgive me since I’m reading these books for this first time with no childhood nostalgia.

 

http://thaliasbooks.tumblr.com/post/160495884247/harry-potter-and-the-chamber-of-secrets-review

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text 2017-05-10 00:31
Finished!
Stand-Off (Winger) - Andrew Smith,Sam Bosma

My relationship with reading has been totally off the rails, I must admit... I binged the first third of this book in one day, then left it alone for almost a month, then binged the last two-thirds between yesterday and this afternoon. The weather has been super nice here in the last couple days, so I got a nice sunburn by reading on my back porch yesterday, hahah.

 

Anyway, Stand-off was not quite the masterpiece that Winger was, but it still did an excellent job of continuing the story. It's not nearly as gut-wrenching, and you're left feeling pretty satisfied with the ways things turn out. I think my biggest complaint is that the ending (pretty happily-ever-after-esque) felt a tad bit forced, so I didn't quite believe in it. However, Ryan Dean did not disappoint as a narrator, and he was as witty and outrightly honest as he always has been.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed Stand-off, but I'm not sure it's one I would reread. I would go back to Winger again in a heartbeat, but this one didn't have that same pull to it. 

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