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review 2019-05-22 19:15
Review ~ Disappointing
Twist of Faith - Ellen J. Green

Book source ~ Kindle First

 

There was always something off about the story her family told about how Ava was adopted by Claire Lavoisier-Saunders. Ava wanted answers and her family wasn’t talking. So when Claire dies Ava starts searching in earnest. When her best friend and a detective from work pitch in to help, the mystery starts to unravel, but the past is filled with murders. Then Ava herself disappears and it’s up to Joanne and Russell to finish the job.

 

I don’t care for the way this story is written. I can’t say why because it would be a spoiler, but I’m not a fan. Also, I don’t like Ava. Not one bit. The twists and turns in this are decent, but the means to finding the answers just turned me off. Again, spoilers which I won’t reveal. It’s just too hard to swallow, and falls very close to what I consider ex machina. I think the plot could have been written a different way, making it more believable and still been a great mystery. As it is, I’m disappointed in the execution.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2019/05/twist-of-faith.html
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review 2019-04-30 00:10
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants (Questioneers #2) - David Roberts (Illustrator),Andrea Beaty

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A highly entertaining, educational, and fun book. This is such a fantastic series. Great for fans of the first book as well as the picture book series. 

Personally, I like the chapter books more than the picture books. It's just easier to really get to know the characters in chapter book form. 

There are also great illustrations that keep the book fun and entertaining. 

Wonderful read. I can't wait for future books in this series.

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review 2019-02-25 01:12
The Midnight Club by Christopher Pike
The Midnight Club - Christopher Pike

Rotterham Home is a hospice for teens with a variety of terminal illnesses. One small group, consisting of Ilonka, Anya, Sandra, Kevin, and Spence, gets together every night at midnight to tell stories. Spence's stories always feature some form of mass murder, Anya's story has more of a supernatural bent, Kevin's is a multi-part story about an angel who becomes a mortal out of love for a young woman. Ilonka, meanwhile, always tells stories based on her memories of her past lives. Although she says she's never met anyone in this life that she's known in her past lives, that's a lie - she recognizes Kevin as someone she's met and loved in all or most of her past lives. Unfortunately, Kevin is currently dating a pretty and healthy cheerleader.

Almost every member of the group has a secret gnawing at them, something they must deal with as best they can in the little time they have.

I had forgotten how much mysticism was in some of Christopher Pike's books. This particular one had a LOT. Ilonka had repeated dreams of sitting at the feet of some guy she called the Master, who philosophized at her and tried to get her to stop looking at the past or longing for the future and instead focus on the present. Weirdly, her reincarnations resulted in her being both the Master's mother and his first disciple. The two past lives readers got to see the most of took place in ancient India and ancient Egypt (sort of). Then there was Kevin's angel main character, Sandra's evangelical upbringing, and lots of mentions of God.

Speaking of Sandra, evangelical readers would probably be annoyed by this book, since she comes across as the least likeable and most hypocritical character. Oddly, she was also the only character to find Spence's stories disturbing. Considering Pike's usual inclusion of murder and/or horror in his books, I initially thought Spence's stories were going to lead up to some kind of murder mystery, but that wasn't exactly the case. (There was a tiny bit of mystery, but it was more of a minor detail than anything.)

I'm not really sure what else to say about this. The one bit where Ilonka had a bunch of magic-filled dreams of past lives was weird, and the far-future ending felt weak and tacked on. This was a bit of an "issue" book, dealing directly with subjects like teenage sexuality,

homosexuality, and AIDS

(spoiler show)

, in addition to the more obvious issues of death, serious illness, and mortality. (And yes,

the gay kid dies, but so does everyone else. The things he said to Ilonka would probably seem dated in some areas but would unfortunately probably still ring true in others, particularly rural areas. Considering the promise Ilonka made to him, it bugged me that, as far as I could tell, he didn't get a happy cameo at the end.)

(spoiler show)


All in all, this wasn't the book I expected it to be and wasn't one of my better Pike rereads, but it wasn't bad. Just don't let the cover trick you into thinking it's horror, or you'll be terribly disappointed.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-02-17 19:29
Ada Twist, Scientist - Andrea Beaty,David Roberts

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

An adorable picture book about a young scientist who never stops asking questions. 

Obviously I loved the focus on a girl interested in a STEM field, but I also kind of liked that she's a bit of a trouble maker. At first seeing her writing on the walls irked me and I can only imagine how exhausting it is for her parents to hear nonstop questions, but when I thought about it some more, I think it allows for a really good teaching moment about girls not focusing on being well-behaved all the time. She wasn't naughty on purpose. She's just naturally curious and doesn't let herself miss out on learning opportunities because it might inconvenience someone else. I think that is a really big takeaway and an important lesson. 

Fun illustrations. It was really cool to see Rosie from Rosie Revere, Engineer show up. So far I am loving The Questioneers books (only read Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters: The Questioneers Book #1so far) so it was fun to read about Ada in the original picture book.

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review 2018-12-29 00:04
Twist of the Magi by Caren J. Werlinger - My Thoughts
Twist of the Magi - Caren J. Werlinger

Another story perfect for the holidays.  The tale of Penny Havers was a fun read and altogether too short. And for once, an f/f romance that isn't filled with drama and angst over being lesbian!

Two thumbs up.

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