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review 2017-04-08 03:35
The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (Fairyland, #5) by Catherynne M. Valente
The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home - Ana Juan,Catherynne M. Valente

This is it. The final installment to this incredibly innovative, whimsical series. I've been following September and her crew for a couple of years now and it makes me have so many feelings. Happy, sad, excited, wonderful feelings! I hate that it's coming to an end (and I know she recently wrote a short story afterwards which I will be reading) because I love this series so much, but just as the narrator said, we can always come visit and spend some time together again.


I don't even know where to start with this review. It's always been difficult for me to review books I feel so much love and attachment to. Valente is a fantastic story-teller. She has the ability to weave a bizarre tale of magic and wonder around the reader. She gets you, as the reader, involved in her books with writing that leaves you breathless. She never talks down to you. No. She includes you. And I love her for that. I love that she wants you to be a part of the story. Not necessarily as stepping into September's shoes, or lack thereof, but to bring your own shoes and tag along with the characters. This book is no exception. I felt like I went on a very long adventure for years that I was happy to be on. I adored getting to see the characters grow and learn from when they were children to when they became teenagers to becoming young adults. It's incredible how talented of a writer Valente is and I'm looking forward to seeing where she goes next as a writer.


Speaking of characters, every single one of them is just as amazing as they are in the first book. September is a lot older, braver, daring, and fearless here. Saturday grows and regresses and grows again! (You should really read the book to understand what I mean.) A-Through-L is still the best Wyverary I have ever read about in fiction ever. I love how sweet and caring and excited he gets about books. (He's one of my favorite characters in this series.) We also see more of Hawthorn, Tambulaine, and Blunderbuss in this book as well. Hawthorn and Tamburlaine is there for a little bit and you can see that they are having their own private adventures~ Blunderbuss plays a key role here and she's just awesome! I mean, she kind of has to be since she's a wombat and all! X3 But seriously, I have no complaints about any of the characters. In fact, Valente even includes portions with September's family! After all, just because you're an adult, doesn't mean you can have your own fun and adventures, right?


This story in this book really brings a lot of questions you may have had throughout the series to the forefront. So many elements were explained and answered. There's so many unpredictable events, which just adds on to my love for this entire story! I love it when books aren't easy to decipher. I love not being able to tell when Valente is taking us. You think that one thing is going to happen, and then Valente flips it over and kicks it towards a ring of fire made of ice and you have no idea where you're headed. It's such a fun experience to see yourself, as the reader, wonder what's going on and then be amazed as soon as you see where you have landed! Man, I love this book!


I highly highly recommend you check out this entire series. It's whimsical, magical, incredible, fun that you're going to love if you adore fantasy, great characters, and even better writing. With these books, I have discovered and fallen in love with Catherynne Valente as an author and I will continue to read her writing for as long as she creates art. I love the Fairyland series and, I hope, you will, too.

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review 2016-03-26 03:10
The Girl From Home
The Girl From Home: A Thriller - Adam Mitzner

By:  Adam Mitzner 

ISBN: 9781476764283

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 4/5/2016

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 3 Stars  


A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Adam Mitzer returns following Losing Faith, landing on myTop 50 Books of 2015 Best Legal Thriller meets psychological game of power with THE GIRL FROM HOME – a different twist, than the author's previous books; a man who loses it all, returning to his roots and the girl he fell for in high school.

Jonathan Caine has an entitled attitude— Manhattan hedge fund manager thinks he deserves nothing but the best. Very self-centered, a narcissistic personality disorder, with an inflated sense of their own importance-- a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.

Of course, behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism. Coming from a small town, he makes his way to Wall Street, now a millionaire with a trophy wife.

However, he falls from grace, and loses it all. A scandalous securities-fraud scheme and is faced with possible jail time and danger. He still is not humbled, and returns home to New Jersey, to care from his elderly father and stays at his childhood home while his dad is in a care facility. He decides to return to his twenty-fifth high school reunion to catch a glimpse of the girl he once loved. He was a nerd back then and she dated only high school jocks. (who goes to a high school reunion when they have lost everything)?

The Homecoming beauty queen, Jacqueline (Jackie) Williams married her football jock. She is not so happy, got pregnant—he is an alcoholic, abusive, and jealous. Jackie is miserable; however, stays in the marriage, trying to protect her two kids--she has no skills or money to leave him.

Now Jackie looks at Jonathan as successful, wealthy, and he shows her attention. A way out. However, he is not honest with her about losing his wealth and is homeless, plus a criminal. Can he change? Can he save his love, or himself? What can he offer her?

His wife has found someone new, and does not care about her hubby, now that he has lost his money—she has moved on with her real estate broker. While residing in his old childhood home, he gets to know his sister Amy and his dad--hiding from an angry husband. In between, he begins spending time with the girl of his dreams. He may look at his dad a little different than he did previously.

Unfortunately, there were no likable characters here and a simple, rather boring story done many times over. The main character does not seem to learn a valuable lesson and none of the characters seemed genuine or well-developed. The depth, and suspense were missing; very disappointed, since all three of his previous books were strong legal crime thrillers (5 Stars)----this one fell flat for me. Hope the author returns to his legal thrillers, which seem to be his sweet spot.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!The-Girl-From-Home/cmoa/56132bce0cf2f0ed7a328602
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text 2014-08-18 01:24
Book Haul
Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
Emma's Secret: A Novel - Steena Holmes
The House of Closed Doors - Jane Steen
The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic (Paperback) - Common - by Hazel Gaynor
The Mind Readers - Lori Brighton
The Lake - AnnaLisa Grant
Attachments - Rainbow Rowell
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
Wonder - R.J. Palacio
Swim - Jennifer Weiner

Laying in bed surfing the Kindle and Google Play Book stores for hours can be pretty dangerous! Especially when I see books on my wishlist for under $3. It's so easy to click Buy and suddenly have hundreds of wonderful, exciting new unread pages at your fingertips. But since I won't be working for the next several weeks and therefore won't have any money coming in, I should probably stop!


A couple of these were free downloads that looked decent. More often than not I find free e-books and short stories to be either cheesy, boring, poorly written, or a combination of the three. But these looked promising, so I'll give them a shot.


Believe it or not, I have actually never used the Kindle app on my tablet until a few days ago. I finally played around with it some and I downloaded several books, so I think that after I finish Nineteen Eighty-Four I'll read something on the Kindle app so I can play around with some of the features and see how I like it.


I'm listing the genres of my purchases here because lately I've been trying to keep better track of the genres and categories of books I've been purchasing and reading. 


Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sohpie Kinsella: Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Romance


Emma's Secret by Steena Holmes: Contemporary, Mystery, Family


The House of Closed Doors by Jane Steen: Historical Fiction (1870s), Mystery


The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor: Historical Fiction (1910s/1980s)


The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton: Young Adult, Paranormal/Fantasy, 


The Lake by AnnaLisa Grant: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary


Lost and Found by Nicole Williams: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance


Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: Contemporary, Romance, Chick-Lit


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: Young Adult, Fantasy/Paranormal


Wonder by R.J. Palacio: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Contemporary


Swim by Jennifer Weiner: Contemporary, Romance, Chick-Lit

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review 2014-07-09 14:54
The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor
The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic - Hazel Gaynor

The Titanic setting got the book into my reader. This is actually a story that goes back in forth in time - in 1912 with young Maggie on the ship, and 1982 with Maggie's great-granddaughter learning the story and using it to get on with her life. I have to admit I was more interested in the 1912 passages and how they related to the present reveals. It's told simply, and though you know Maggie survives you do read and wonder what happens as the ship sinks.


My only complaint is the romance aspect of the story was wrapped up too quickly. All through the story Maggie pines for the boy she left behind, and suddenly that part of the story is wrapped up in two paragraphs of dialogue. We don't get the show, just the tell. Other than that, if you're more interested in Titanic fiction, it's worth the eBook price.

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review 2014-06-30 13:15
The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor
The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic - Hazel Gaynor

Let me begin by saying that I’ve read quite a lot of books and articles on Titanic. I’ve seen ‘the’ movie several times and watched various documentaries. I’m always on the lookout for something new or different. I liked that this book was presented from the perspective of a third-class steerage passenger.


We meet seventeen year old Maggie Murphy who is about to embark on her journey to America on Titanic. She doesn’t want to leave Ballysheen (her home village) and her boyfriend Seamus. But when her mother passes and her Aunt Kathleen comes from America to collect her, Maggie has no say in the matter. She and her aunt, along with twelve other folk from Ballysheen, decide to travel together. Maggie’s friend, the outspoken Peggy Marden, is ready to leave. She dreams of marrying a rich American man and living in a fancy mansion.


The story then switches us to Chicago in 1982 and we meet Grace Butler, a journalism student who sets aside her studies when her father passes so that she can stay home with her mother who is in a deep state of depression. After watching her great-granddaughter give so much of her self to her family, an 87 year-old Maggie decides to open up about that fateful voyage on Titanic. It is Maggie’s story that helps Grace get on with her own life, take up her studies once more and reunite with her own boyfriend whom she hasn’t seen in over two years.


Maggie’s story is moving, especially since her emotions embody those of her fellow travelers. Her realization that she should have stayed in Ballysheen with Seamus are reinforced as Titanic moves further away from Ireland. With her great-granddaughter’s help she rediscovers her small travel case that contains two parting gifts from Seamus as well as her journal. Happily Grace writes the story of Maggie’s journey on Titanic and it is printed in a prestigious newspaper. It is that article that reunites Maggie with people and artifacts that she thought she had lost long ago.


Although I liked this book overall there were too many similarities to the movie that starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet: the narrator was an original Titanic survivor, an old woman; there were scenes that could have been lifted in their entirety from the movie, i.e., the lowering of the lifeboats; and I won’t give any spoilers but the ending of the story was quite similar to the end of the movie (other than the ship sinking). Because the story has become over-told I suppose that all of these scenes could overlap in the various re-tellings. I did like the detail behind the New Yorkers who waited for word of their loved ones and the hospital scenes with young Maggie.

If you are fascinated by the Titanic story, you’ll like this book. Worth reading for the differing point of view and the story of the folk from Ballysheen which is based on the true story of the Irish folk who made the journey.



Source: marionmarchetto.com/wp/book-review-the-girl-who-came-home-a-novel-of-the-titanic-by-hazel-gaynor
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