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review 2019-12-23 08:45
Fury - Steven James

Fury is the sequel to Blur, and as in the first book, Daniel is seeing things he wishes he wouldn't see and is trying to figure out what it all means. It had been a while since I read the first book and so the details were a bit blurry for me, but it was repeated at the beginning of Fury, so it didn't feel like I had to go back to Blur.

While this was an entertaining read, I couldn't shake the feeling it was a bit forced at times. Also, without putting spoilers, there is a lot here that didn't surprise me in the end at all. Which was maybe a bit of a let down, but it still was a very quick read. I already have the third book in the series and I plan to read it soon, so I hope the story will take a turn to the original in that one.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2019-12-23 08:26
Blur - Steven James

This was my first time reading Steven James, who apparently is a master of suspense and this his first YA mystery. Daniel, the MC, starts seeing 'blurs', or basically the ghost of a recently deceased classmate who asks him to investigate her dead. (Why she doesn't just tell him what happened, since she was present at her own dead, is beyond me but would have made for a much shorter book, of course).

What follows is on the one hand a rather standard situation where Daniel together with his best friend and love interest look into the death of said classmate. On the other hand it is also Daniel's story as he is trying to figure out what is real and what isn't and is he going mad or not?

While not the most original mystery and not un-put-downable, it was a nice read and I will continue with the next in the series.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2017-11-29 15:22
2018 TBR Continues to Grow
The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World - Randall E. Stross,Grover Gardner
Meditations - Duncan Steen,Marcus Aurelius
Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red: A Rabbi Small Mystery, Book 5 - Harry Kemelman,George Guidall
The Lighthouse Keeper - Cynthia Ellingsen,Kate Rudd
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Jeff Woodman,Mark Haddon
Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist - Dorothy Gilman,Barbara Rosenblat
Monday the Rabbi Took Off: A Rabbi Small Mystery, Book 4 - Harry Kemelman,George Guidall
Amadeus - Peter Shaffer,L.A. Theatre Works
Cosmos - Carl Sagan,Seth MacFarlane,LeVar Burton,Neil deGrasse Tyson,Ann Druyan

WOW! I am going to have a lot of fun reading in January and February! Nine books here and a few more that I have already mentioned. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! -- Well, except on the days we are traveling. 



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review 2016-05-14 06:33
Blur (Review)
Blur - Steven James

(Minor disclaimer: It’s been…more than a year since I finished this book. My memory is fuzzy, but I took notes on the book and have my various status updates online to help me remember my exact feelings about this book. I gave it its rating when I first finished it, so that at least is accurate.)


I had high hopes for this when I first began. The prologue captivated me, and I’m a sucker for young adult mysteries—and ever since Thin Space by Jody Casella, I have been captivated by the possibilities of ghost stories and how much they can surprise me. This is what I expected heading into Blur, especially after such a promising beginning. However, my expectations soon began to unravel (much like Daniel’s grip on reality, actually), and I found myself less and less enthusiastic the farther I delved into the story—exactly the opposite of what should happen when reading a mystery.


I do believe James is capable of writing a captivating story, and the basic elements are there; the execution here is what becomes foggy, and the details weigh down the story’s ability to truly succeed. The main character, Daniel, was just too perfect, and there were issues with the plot of the story that never resolved. I did enjoy trying to figure out the mystery, but at the same time, there were several “plot twists” I was able to guess early in the story, which disappointed me at the end.


An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (And again, I’m so sorry it’s taken so long. You saw the publication date was 2014, right?)


(Read the rest on my blog!)


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text 2016-01-01 09:55
Reviews to Come
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Blur - Steven James
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Stephen Fry
Coin Heist - Elisa Ludwig
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
The Choice - Nicholas Sparks
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare - Melissa Jensen
Who I Kissed - Janet Gurtler
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West

Well, 2015 was kind of a bust as far as reviewable books goes.


Don't let the read count fool you: I read about twelve books for one class in one semester at the beginning of the year, which were all YA/middle grade. I read about five or six books roughly for each English class I take, and multiply that by three and a half semesters in 2015, about three classes each semester with that kind of reading load. I read a lot in 2015. But somehow, I ended up with only about seventeen or so books I felt like I could actually review.


I read a lot of classics, things I'd been wanting to get to for awhile and finally got to read in class, as well as some young adult stuff for some more genre-specific classes I took. I read more than anyone else I know in school right now, and although it's been tough to read for fun and I've had to take a major break from reviewing in the past year, it wasn't because I wasn't reading. But I had to jump from book to book so quickly that I could hardly process enough to want to write a review for what I read, and it seemed so haphazard to only write reviews for a handful of them.


So I decided to scrap all the books I read for class last year and write reviews when I eventually reread them--on my own time. There are lots of books I read for class that I'll want to revisit (like Tess of the D'Urbervilles, for instance), and others I probably won't ever attempt again (like The Bone People). And although it means that my "read count" for challenges both here and on GoodReads make it seem like I barely made a dent in my 70 book goal, I think I easily read that many books in 2015, although it won't show in my reviews.


I am making a goal for 2016 to be better. I'm going to be super busy for awhile, at least through this semester (which ends at the end of February). I'm in a musical, I'm a vice president in a club, I'm a part-time employee, I'm helping to judge a book award, and I'm a straight-A student. I turned twenty-one yesterday, so my new years' resolutions usually hold a heavier weight for me because I'm also looking toward a new year of my life, and another kind of fresh start. I'm saddened by the fact that my love for reading has become more work than pleasure, so I'm determined to make sure I read at least one chapter of something not for school each day so I can keep up with my passion and the books I've accumulated. It's probably best for me to set small goals, especially because I recently went on a book buying binge, and now I can look forward to 2016 by reading books I've put on hold a long time. 


So, here's to the new year! I'll be reading more (although I set a more reasonable pleasure goal at 30 for this year--even my summer break will be shorter than usual, and I'll have graduated by Halloween), and I'll be getting to books I've wanted for read for a long time. I've started Fellowship of the Ring over again because Tolkien just makes me downright happy, but I'm getting new stuff in as well. All in all, I'm excited for what 2016 and being twenty-one brings me. Above are the first ten reviews I'll be writing for stuff I read in 2015 (for fun). 


Thanks for all your patience this year, and here's to progress!

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