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review 2018-10-05 23:50
Alice in Wonderland meets Gotham..
Alice - Christina Henry

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Alice

Christina Henry

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In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

 

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

 

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

 

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

 

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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A very dark, twisted and decidedly adult twist on Alice in Wonderland.  It really reminds me of the TV show Gotham.  All, or at least some, of the usual suspects, were there including the Jabberwocky.  Some of them have variations of names like Hatcher instead of Hatter.   While I didn't like this as much as The Mermaid or Lostboy, it was a decent story, except for that anti-climatic ending.  The most disappointing aspect of this was the narrator, most of the voices she did for other characters were sadly pathetic.  The narrator is supposed to put you in the story...not take you out of it.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.8/5

Main Characters~ 3.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.2/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.7/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~  3.7/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.7/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3/5  Cliffhanger~ It has closure, but it does end sort of abruptly.

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Book Cover~ Meh…

Narration~ 2 for Jenny Sterlin

Series~ The Chronicles of Alice #1

Setting~ The Old City

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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I used this for Gothic Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-09-27 23:11
In a handful of dust there is not a drop to drink...my doomy doomsday pick
In a Handful of Dust - Mindy McGinnis

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

In A Handful Of Dust

Mindy McGinnis

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A dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature's challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts.

 

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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An interesting follow-up to Not A Drop to Drink, while I didn't like it as much as the first installment, I did like it…I'm just not completely on-board with that ending.  Overall, a sadness hangs over the whole book…that never really dissipates with the ending, like the Author set out to make a series that puts the dis in dystopian.  She did have some interesting developments in this journey from Ohio to California…some I've never seen the likes of before.  One, in particular, was jaw-dropping.

 

This second book is from Lucy's pov instead of Lynn's, as it is in the first book.  I was sad that Cassandra Campbell wasn't the narrator, I really liked her, but a different narrator was the best way to keep a distinction between their voices.  

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Not really.

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Book Cover~  I like it…

Narration~ 3.7 for Allyson Ryan, she did grow on me, eventually.

Series~ Not A Drop to Drink #2

Setting~ From Ohio to California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I'm using this for Doomsday Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-09-19 22:52
Picking the right narrator makes all the difference...
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

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~BOOK BLURB~

Anna Dressed in Blood

Kendare Blake

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Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

 

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

 

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

 

Yet she spares Cas's life.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Plot-wise this has all the right elements, Anna is a fairly kick-ass ghost and despite how terrifying she is, you still end up liking her.  Especially after you hear the story of how she died.  Nevertheless, I still felt that it was missing something…maybe it's just me…or maybe it was due to the narrator.  When he did other peoples voices he was not so bad, but when he did the voice of Cas the MC, (which was his normal voice) he delivered his lines with very little emotion and it left me feeling disconnected from the story most of the time.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.7STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Characters~ 3.8/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.7/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's quite striking…

Narration~ 2 for August Ross

Series~ Anna #1

Setting~ Thunder Bay, Ontario

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for Ghost Stories Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-09-15 21:17
Well, at least I got my Southern Gothic Square checked off by forcing myself through this.
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls - Clara Emily Carpenter

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~BOOK BLURB~

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Emily Carpenter

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Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Ugh!  I tried to get into this, but I just couldn't.  I read a couple other books by this Author and really liked them.  So, what gives?  First and foremost we learn early on, that all the women in her family going back a few generations have suddenly become schizophrenic on their 30th birthday.  I really couldn't buy into this scenario, and it pretty much made it impossible for me to like the rest of the story.  This could also be why I didn't connect with the characters, no matter how hard I tried.  All of them came off as pretty unlikable, and I couldn't care less about their fates.  Lastly, I can't stress enough how important it is to have a different narrator for each characters POV, because I couldn't distinguish between Althea and Jinn's characters, and I was left confused most of the time.

 

Overall, a lackluster mystery for me with an equally lackluster ending.  But I might be in the minority with these feelings...there are lots of great reviews for this, after all.

 

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~MY RATING~

2STARS - GRADE=D

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 1.5/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 2/5

Theme or Tone~ 2/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Ending~ 2/5

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Book Cover~ Meh…it's underwhelming for sure.

Narration~ ☆3 for Kate Orsini…she was okay, but she should have used a different variation of her voice for each of the MC's.

Setting~ Alabama

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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I used this for Southern Gothic Square in Halloween Bingo

 

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review 2018-08-29 23:18
4.5 OUT OF 5 "VR ENHANCED" STARS
Warcross - Marie Lu

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~BOOK BLURB~

Warcross

Marie Lu

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For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

 

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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With tones that reminded me of Ready Player One, Warcross is a stellar first book in a promising new series.  It takes place mostly in a virtual world, hence the reminders of the Ernest Clines book.  But that ends with that one similarity and Warcross becomes it's very own unique story that is unlike any other books in this genre. 

 

Overall, an unpredictable and action-packed book with likable characters, there is a definite romance going on throughout and I should warn you it does end on a cliffhanger with some wtf twists at the very end.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4.2/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.2/5

Originality~ 4.3/5

Ending~ 4.7/5 Cliffhanger~ Yeah…pretty much.

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Book Cover~ Meh…

Narration~ 4.5 for Nancy Wu, she was really good, actually.

Series~ Warcross #1

Setting~ Tokyo, Japan & New York

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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