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review 2019-11-13 17:49
4 Dark Tales in Highway 7 by Perry Prete @PerryPreteBooks
Highway 7: 4 Dark Tales - Perry Prete

I loved Perry Prete’s Ethan Tennant series, so I was curious how he would handle these four dark tales of horror…and I think they are a complete success. Well done Perry.

 

Highway 7: 4 Dark Tales

Amazon / Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

The stories are short, so I didn’t have time to get lost in them, abut I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one. If I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be Social Studies.

 

THE ELEVATOR: This was one creepy story and it had my mind wondering what was real and what was I imagining as I got lost in the dark…trapped in the elevator and in my own mind. Well done. 4 Stars

 

REUNION: It had been five years since his girlfriend went missing when the creature attacked and he had been back for a family reunion. Sad, frightening, but ya gotta hang in til the end because ya just never know. 4 Stars

 

SOCIAL STUDIES: One assignment = one grade and it took over he life. I didn’t see where this going and, wow, it was all over the place and I loved it. 4 Stars

 

HIGHWAY 7: Predictable, now you see it, now you don’t, but with a twist and I loved it.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Highway 7 by Perry Prete.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos4 Stars
 

READ MORE HERE

 

MY PERRY PRETE REVIEWS

 

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/highway-7-perry-prete
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review 2019-11-13 10:16
Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Unhappiness) by Francoise Sagan, translated by Irene Ash
Bonjour Tristesse - Diane Johnson,Irene Ash,Françoise Sagan

The French Riviera: home to the Beautiful People. And none are more beautiful than Cécile, a precocious seventeen-year-old, and her father Raymond, a vivacious libertine. Charming, decadent and irresponsible, the golden-skinned duo are dedicated to a life of free love, fast cars and hedonistic pleasures. But then, one long, hot summer Raymond decides to marry, and Cécile and her lover Cyril feel compelled to take a hand in his amours, with tragic consequences. Bonjour Tristesse scandalized 1950s France with its portrayal of teenager terrible Cécile, a heroine who rejects conventional notions of love, marriage and responsibility to choose her own sexual freedom.

Goodreads.com

 

 

 

 

 

Seventeen year old Cecile, having recently finished boarding school, celebrates by going on a two month long vacation to a Mediterranean villa with her playboy father, Raymond. Also in attendance is Raymond's favorite lady of the month, Elsa. Raymond is 40 years old, has been widowed for fifteen years, but doesn't let that keep his mood down --- he's changing out love interests every six months or so!

 

The trip also proves to be something of a sexual awakening for young Cecile. Six days into this vacation, she spots Cyril for the first time. Cyril is a young, gorgeous Latin man also in the area for vacation. Cecile admits he's not her usual type --- turns out he's a sensible, responsible, law student AND her own age --- but there's something about him that she just cannot resist. 

 

Later on, we see the arrival of Anna, a longtime family friend who has served as a sort of surrogate mother to Cecile over the years. At first Cecile assumes Anna is only there to join in on family time, but gradually realizes Anna may have a romantic eye set on Raymond. Raymond doesn't seem too bothered with having a little female competition over him to liven up the days! Nor does he seem troubled when Cecile points out the complication of having two women interested in you staying in the same house. If anything, Raymond is amused!

 

He laughed softly and rubbed the back of my neck. I turned to look at him. His dark eyes gleamed; funny little wrinkles marked their edges; his mouth was turned up slightly. He looked like a faun. I laughed with him as I always did when he created complications for himself.

 

"My little partner in crime," he said. "What would I do without you?"

 

His voice was so serious yet so tender that I knew he would really have been unhappy without me. Late into the night we talked of love, of its complications. In my father's eyes they were all imaginary. He refused categorically all ideas of fidelity or serious commitments. He explained that they were arbitrary and sterile. From anyone else such views would have shocked me, but I knew that in his case they did not exclude tenderness and devotion ---- feelings which came all the more easily to him since he was determined that they would be transient.

 

 

 

Cecile likely would've rolled with whatever happened in the house, had Anna not overstepped her bounds regarding Cecile's budding romance with Cyril. Once Anna begins to feel she has a pretty solid in (romatically) with Raymond, she jumps right into full-on new stepmom mode, insisting Cecile drop Cyril and focus more on her educational pursuits. Not impressed with Anna trying to lay down the law all of a sudden, Cecile, in grudge mode, decides to get her father's attention back on Elsa. Plots and ploys ensue and before long this love triangle implodes, leaving one major tragedy in the wake. Elsa's not the brightest bulb, as characters go, but it's hard not to feel a little sorry for her when reality of the situation finally dawns on her.

 

All the elements of a drama were to hand: a libertine, a demimondaine, and a strong-minded woman.

 

This was Sagan's debut novel, published in 1954, when Sagan was barely older than her main character, Cecile! (Sagan passed away in 2004, but google her life story, it's a pretty interesting & layered one!). I'd read that at the time of its release this book had France up in arms over the themes of sexual liberation, particularly involving that of a teenage girl. Reading it now, it must have had to do with the time period because I did not find it all that risque. Yes, sex is mentioned, but it's so gently suggested compared to some of the softcore novels that are out there now, I struggle to see how anyone could take offense to the way the topic of sex is handled in this book. What I did notice is the way Sagan puts her best emo foot forward right from the opening paragraph LOL:

 

A strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sorrow.  The idea of sorrow has always appealed to me, but now I am almost ashamed  of its complete egoism. I have known boredom, regret, and occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today it envelops me like a silken web, enervating and soft, and sets me apart from everyone else.

 

While the writing style itself might have a little more finesse than what is commonly seen in YA literature today (especially with remembering that Sagan herself was a teenager when she wrote this novel), it appears the popular themes for the genre haven't changed too much over the decades. In Bonjour Tristesse, we see somewhat overbearing Anna always quietly trying to slip into that stepmom disciplinarian role, not approving of Cecile's choice of boyfriend, pushing for the girl to focus on her studies and future career options instead... Cecile feeling annoyed and stifled, ultimately choosing to rebel against authority, to the point of plotting payback, after her opinion of Anna switches from that of friend to "beautiful serpent" ---- all ideas that can be found in contemporary YA novels. Used to finding a bratty someone to loathe in YA novels of today? Cecile gives you that as well --- anytime anyone remotely tries to hold her accountable for her actions, she gets huffy and storms off like a bored, moody cat. 

 

While it is certainly impressive that Sagan could publish a debut novel at such an early age and find such raving success as a writer right out of the gate, I'm not entirely convinced this is deserving of the level of high praise it seems to have garnered over the years. It's an mildly entertaining story, perfect for a easy, breezy summer day, as the writing has that kind of lazy river flow to it... but in it's entirety, it fell a little flat for me. Seemed like Sagan wanted to go a little bit thriller-ish with the plot but there's just not enough tension built up there. Cecile's sexual awakening is hinted at, but again, she and those scenes are all presented in a "can't be bothered" kind of tone, so if our MCs can't care enough about the direction of their lives, why should we?

 

 

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text 2019-11-11 21:26
24 Festive Tasks, Door 6: November 11th Armistice/Veterans Day
Walking Wounded: Uncut Stories from Iraq - Olivier Morel,Maël

Veterans / Armistice Day

 

Door 6: Armistice/Veterans Day

 

Book: I read Walking Wounded (Uncut Stories from Iraq) by Olivier Morel and Mael. 

 

Task #1: In Progress

Task #2: In Progress

Task #3: In Progress

Task #4: In Progress

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text 2019-11-11 20:56
24 Festive Tasks: Door 17 - Winter Solstice: Book
Three Blind Mice and Other Stories - Agatha Christie,Hugh Fraser,Joan Hickson,David Suchet,Simon Vance

 

The core action of the main entry in this collection -- the novella Three Blind Mice (basis for the play The Mousetrap) -- all takes place in a single day, and it is also set in winter (even though not explicitly in December).  That's got to be good enough to make it qualify as my Winter Solstice book.

 

(Task: Read a book that takes place in December, with ice or snow on the cover, where all events take place in a single day or night, that revolves around the solstice, set in Persia / Iran, China or the American Southwest or prominently featuring Persian / Iranian, Chinese or Native American characters, or a collection of poetry.)

 

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review 2019-11-07 16:51
Review ~ Decent collection
Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories - Nancy Christie

Book source ~ NetGalley

 

There are 18 short stories contained between these covers and not one of them was what I expected. The stories are sad, shocking, surprising and, most times, heart-breaking. They start out one way and end completely different than I expected. By the time I was partway through the collection, I stopped trying to anticipate where the stories were heading and just went with the flow. While each one is a bit bleak for my tastes, there’s no doubt that Nancy Christie has mastered the short story with her wonderful writing and tight plots.

 

Story titles:

Traveling Left of Center

Alice in Wonderland

The Sugar Bowl

The Shop on the Square

Watching for Billy

The Healer

The Clock

Anything Can Happen

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Misconnections

Skating on Thin Ice

Still Life

The StoryTeller

Exit Row

Waiting for Sara

Beautiful Dreamer

The Kindness of Strangers

Annabelle

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2019/11/traveling-left-of-center.html
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