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Search tags: WITHIN-THESE-WALLS
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-28 01:28
The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
The Women in the Walls - Amy Lukavics

Lucy Acosta loses a chef, the woman she thinks of as a mother and then her best friend and all seem to illicit the same emotional response. I've read a lot of books about repressed WASPs in fancy houses surrounded by elegant people who also have no emotions, but this book wins a prize for flat-lining. It's almost as if these characters not only don't have feelings, they also don't know how to pretend to have them.

The Women in the Walls hurtles into its territory too fast. There is no time at all to develop any feelings of suspense or cultivate an atmosphere. I couldn't do it.

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review 2017-09-26 23:08
The Walls - Hollie Overton
These last few days have been great for me. I read five excellent books in a row. Yay!! And this was just one of them.

Single mom, Kristy Tucker, works as a PIO for the Texas prison system. She deals with the worst kind of human beings on a daily basis. Murderers, pedophiles, serial killers, rapists, she has seen and talked with all of them.

She also has been single all her life. Her 15 year old son, Ryan, has never known a father. His own or a substitute. When Ryan starts taking martial arts lessons from Lance, he really takes a liking to him. So does Kristy, unfortunately. When Lance's true nature comes out, Kristy has a problem. Lance is an abuser. 

I almost put the book down during this phase, however, I am glad that I did not. My hatred for Lance was abominable. He was a horrible, horrible man and no one in Kristy's family knew, but her.

When she comes up with a way to get rid of him for good, the only way to get him out of her life, she finds much to her dread, I found myself cheering and egging her on.

An edge of your seat thriller that I read all in one sitting.

Huge thanks to Hatchett Book Group Redbook and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

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review 2017-08-31 16:25
Review: Words on Bathroom Walls
Words on Bathroom Walls - Julia Walton

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

Never expected to get approved for this one and was quite surprised and pleased when I was. (I so rarely get approved by Random House). Really impressed with the book as well. (Always kind of makes me feel a bit guilty when I get approved for something by a publisher I don’t get approval from and then find I don’t like the book. Thankfully not the case this time.)

 

This novel tells the story of teenager Adam who suffers from schizophrenia. Adam has quite a unique personality, he knows he’s schizophrenic. He sees illusions, people who aren’t there but the interesting thing I found was while each of these illusions of his seem to have their own personalities and speak to him, he’s actually quite aware of the fact that these people aren’t real. They seem to be some form of emotion he can’t express.

 

The novel follows Adam as he struggles with his illness and a new experimental treatment drug and starting at a new private Catholic high school. Dealing with the bullies, the geek who winds up becoming a good friend and the girl he has a crush on who becomes a friend and something more.

 

The novel is told in diary entries through Adam’s therapy sessions – he refuses to speak to his therapist and writes down what’s been going on in his daily life. He’s got a brilliantly blunt tell it how it is attitude, and can be deliciously snarky. Added in some complicated family drama – dad not in picture, mom has new husband. The mom’s new husband was actually pretty decent if a bit dim. Though step dad’s mom was a nightmare.  Some interesting ideas on faith as well considering Adam attends a Catholic private school without being too preachy.

 

Quite realistically handled as well, I though. Some deep emotional turmoil, a sweet romantic storyline as well.  Well handled, without being sickly sweet, fair amount of drama, but not too over the top. Ups and downs, sad and funny. Likeable characters, believable parental involvement. A really good read.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Random House Children’s for approving my request to view the title.   

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review 2017-08-02 15:21
Words on Bathroom Wall
Words on Bathroom Walls - Julia Walton

This could be it, at least Adam hopes so. He’s starting a new school, so no one would know his past and what he is capable of doing. No one knows that Adam has a hard time differentiating between what’s real and what’s part of his imagination and now that he’s on this new drug, he seems to have more control over his life. Talking to his therapist through journal entries, we follow Adam as he enters this new exciting part of his life, full of hope yet quiet about his condition.

 

I was hopeful that this new medication would help Adam control his hallucinations. A few of these visions are regulars, so frequent in Adam’s life that he has given them names and he knows what they are capable of doing. There are other visions or images that occur in Adams life and these are the ones that Adam is not sure if they are real or not. As I thought about Adam and this condition, I understood his frustration and agony, for Adam must decide whether these visions are real or not and he then must decide if he is going to react and then, how to react. Image if he saw some birds swooping down at him, an angry dog rushing at him, or something about to fall, does he react or not? Now enter this experimental drug which helps Adam distinguish reality from illusions. Adam feels like he is saved. As Adam enters his new school, his life is more under control with this new drug and he meets Maya. He doesn’t want anyone to know about his condition especially Maya. Maya helps Adam navigate around the school when Ian ditches him immediately after meeting him the first day. I never could understand the likings of Ian, this boy has too much time on his hands and his nose in everyone else’s business. I can feel Adam trying to be normal, this drug helping him succeed but Adam still hesitate about what is real in his life. There are funny parts in this story, the way the visions come into Adam’s life and his perception about them. I laughed yet it was sad, the way his world was shaped. Maya wanted Adam and Adam wanted Maya but Adam was not showing Maya his true colors. I was feeling tension as the book progressed, for Adam needed to talk to Maya but there were too many uncertainties that Adam just didn’t want to deal with. I really enjoyed this novel, I thought it was a great book dealing with this condition and it gave me a better understanding of what individuals like Adam live with on a daily basis.

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review 2017-07-22 16:52
The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls

To say that Walls had an unusual childhood would be a massive understatement. She didn't have any of the stability with a roof over her head or meals to eat that most children in the US take for granted, but she did have some amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to do things that many of us will never do.

I'd like to say that this is due to that her parents rarely followed the rules (or, you know, laws) and gave her and her siblings even fewer to follow. She was a child of people who had the kind of wandering existence that I've known some to pine for, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

In fact, it seems like it was hardly ever sunshine and rainbows. They'd have long stretches of okay times with fairly regular meals and then periods of near starvation where they had to go through the trash to eat. But their parents did have an odd splendor in the way they dealt with such an extreme level of poverty. They weren't perfect, but Walls manages to tell the story in a way that never quite judges them. They were who they were and she seems to have accepted that, even when it embarrassed her.

There were a few stories I really loved, one of which I am totally keeping in my pocket just in case I'm ever at that point with my own family. There were also lots of points in the story where my heart broke for Walls and her siblings. Some people are well suited to "adulting" and others are not, her parents are just not those people. Their hearts appeared to be in the right places though. Or maybe it's just the way Walls tells the story.

She tells the story as she encountered it, not inserting knowledge from later in life to situations, not guessing what may have been in their minds based on information she had down the road. She doesn't seem to be protecting them either, never shying away from their less attractive traits.

The movie based on her life will be out soon (August 11) and I'm thinking about seeing it, though not in the theater. We don't normally go to the theater for movies we can't take the six year old to. After reading the book, I'm not 100% sure I want to see it, but the cast intrigues me. Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson both have the ability to be heartbreakingly vulnerable about the worst parts of a person and I'm not sure how they're going to portray it. It would be easy for any director with these actors to make it heart-warming or heart-wrenching. I'd be happy with a combination. The book left me with that Good Will Hunting feeling where they went for the heart but it left me with a good feeling overall. I hope the movie does that to.

Have you read the book? Are you planning on watching the movie?

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