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review 2018-10-01 16:15
#52 - You're Welcome Universy by Whitney Gardner
You're Welcome, Universe - Whitney Gardner

This is a masterpiece! Seriously, this book deserves so much more! I want everyone to read it.


I don’t remember when or why I bought this book, maybe there was a discount or something. I had heard great things about it but did not know more that than. I decided to pick it up last month expecting a fun contemporary read.


Fun, it was. But it was also so much more than that! The main character is totally amazing, and I liked every aspect of her personality. Seriously, she is the best.

The main character, Julia, is going to the Kingston School for the Deaf but she gets expelled and has to go to a “mainstream” school. Julia is amazing because she is an independent teenage girl, but she can also be vulnerable sometimes.  She will meet new people and experiences new things at this school, and of course she will have some bad experiences to.


The story is an ordinary one, the only difference is that Julia has a disability. And I LOVED how it was introduced in this story. I don’t know how to explain but even if you knew Julia is Deaf, it is not what you noticed at first about her. I even sometimes forgot. And I think it’s great because it could help a lot of people realized that people with disabilities are just like us and that their lives is not so different. They don’t need help all the time, they don’t need pity most of all and they just need to be treated like everyone. I think it was shown perfectly in this book.


I fell in love with Julia and her (diverse) family. I loved that her family is so diverse, but it does not feel forced. Sometimes I have the impression that authors try to include diverse characters but just to include them, if you know what I mean. I thought that Julia family was so great!


It is a coming of age story about a young girl who does not totally fit into society because of what other people think of her. And it was beautiful. Everybody should read this book!

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text 2018-09-29 00:58
Book spree
Spindrift - Phyllis A. Whitney
Feather on the Moon - Phyllis A. Whitney
Eternity Ring - Patricia Wentworth
Fire in the Thatch: A Devon Mystery - E.C.R. Lorac

In order to avoid setting the United States capital on fire, which would be bad because it might impact my good friend, Obsidian Blue, I indulged myself in a mini-book-buying spree. I'm also shutting down social media, avoiding the television, and am only allowed to check Booklikes until October. I need a mental health break from the world - I can't take this anymore.


I have decided that my second bingo card is going to be all women, in honor of this moment in history.


Smash the patriarchy.



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review 2018-09-24 00:24
Vermilion - Phyllis A. Whitney

Another one of my finds from my Friends of the Library book sale trail I did while on holiday back home; this one I had to pay a bit more for, as it was at a retail used book store, but I'm determined to collect Whitney's work, and it was still priced cheaper than a new mass market paperback.


Vermilion is set contemporary to the time Whitney wrote it - the 80's - and at first glance of the book jacket I was left with the impression that the cane was going to be central to the story in some slightly paranormal way.  This would make it perfect for the bingo square Relics and Curiosities.  Unfortunately, while it is central to the plot, it's not an object of superstition or paranormal power.  BUT, the setting in Sedona, with the red rock formations, and Vermilion herself - who turns out to be an imaginary friend the MC created as a child that has rather more personality than your standard issue imaginary friend - offer enough superstition, object fear, and possible paranormal activity to more than qualify this book for the square.  (Otherwise, it's dripping with romantic suspense, and it's a murder mystery that takes place amongst a closed set.)


The one thing about Whitney's female characters that bugs me is that she portrays them as strong, intelligent and independent (at least in the contemporary books), but then allows them to get rolled over by events or other characters.  Lindsay agrees to things, or rushes into things that are the cliche'd equivalent of don't go into the basement!  


Readers of Whitney's Window on the Square will find familiar ground here with the character setup, but it's not re-tread ground.  The dynamics are similar, but Whitney isn't repeating herself; I get the sense that she was taking the opportunity to take that dynamic down different paths.


The mystery plotting was excellent - not quite as shocking as Window on the Square but still better than average, and Whitney uses the Native American history and culture, woven with plain old anglo evilness to really ratchet up the suspense and create a tense atmosphere where the reader really doesn't know who's doing what to whom.  


The romance was ... absolutely unsurprising, but I continue to admire Whitney for daring to trod on morally shaky ground.  Yes, the hero and heroine always get an easy out, but she was writing her heroines into morally shaky situations back in the 50's and 60's that few authors have the courage to put their heroines in today.


Vermilion is not amongst her best, but I'd definitely put it above her average and definitely better than Woman Without a Past.


I read this book for the Halloween Bingo square Relics and Curiosities 

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review 2018-09-22 16:36
Hunter's Green - Phyllis A. Whitney for Country House Mystery
Hunter's Green - Phyllis A. Whitney

Would also work for Genre: Suspense, Terrifying Women, Murder Most Foul, Amateur Sleuth, and Romantic Suspense.


It's fun reading these old thrillers that are so slow, with hardly any murder, no kids or really old people, and servents neither seen nor heard. They're charmingly predictable. And although this was published in 68 and makes much of the brash young mods, they feel So Old Fashioned. There are phones, but only to ring up the doctor or the police to haul away the perpetrator. There are cars for running up to Town, and low speed pursuit, and explosive crashes. What I love most is that everyone stops at regular intervals to sit down and eat a hot meal. I suppose this is what people are talking about when they reminisce about a slower time. 


I did have one great disappointment though: a device was quite deliberately introduced in the first act, but played no subsequent part in the plot. It wasn't even a red herring: it was just never mentioned again.


The only disturbing part of the story isn't meant to be:


My apologies for my failed spoiler tag. 


Library copy 

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text 2018-09-20 16:08
Hunter's Green for Country House Mystery
Hunter's Green - Phyllis A. Whitney

After the manly pissing contest that is Jaws, I wanted something different.

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