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review 2020-07-08 01:06
Alice in Zombieland
Alice in Zombieland - Gena Showalter

Alice lost her parents and younger sister in a car accident when she was 16 (on her birthday). Her dad saw things that no one else could see. After the accident, she moves in with her grandparents and changes schools.
While Ali went through a horrible time, she was a hard person to really like. I was more annoyed with her and her reaction to Cole. I thought Cole was awful. (But, hey, it's okay 'cause he's a hunter). Just more angst, angst, and more angst. Disappointed.
I read this for the Ripped Bodice's Summer Bingo and will use it for the broken nose square (it was mentioned once). It will also work for violet eyes (Cole's).

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review 2020-06-20 11:22
Grave Secrets - Alice James
Grave Secrets (The Lavington Windsor Mysteries #1) - Alice James
It seems only fair to start this review with the fact that I burned out on urban fantasy (which is the sub-genre this book fits most neatly into, despite being set in rural Staffordshire) a while back and so Grave Secrets was probably up against it with me. Having said that, the book also had a few issues for me and so I guess I just wasn't the right audience after all.
The basic premise of the book is that vampires are known about and, in Europe at least, regarded with some degree of favour - this stems from a feel-good story involving vampires healing children with leukemia in Germany, which had led to pro-vampire legislation. As a result, our protagonist is quite aware of their existence as well as, unusually for some urban fantasy series, her own powers as a necromancer - in fact, we first meet her in the local cemetery where she's managed to work her way through raising all of its inhabitants one after another. This is the first place I butted heads with the story because while she seems to be creating zombies, they just conveniently appear rather than having to actually get out of their graves, yet are physical enough to do damage to people/vampires as needed.
Anyway, our protagonist (an estate agent who doesn't seem to do very much work at all) gets involved with trying to find the ideal place for a vampire to hang his metaphorical hat, with said vampire being quite hot and someone she's instantly in love with. There we come across issue number 2 for me, which is always how vampires get erections given that they don't have a working circulatory system, but that doesn't seem to stop said vampire from getting it up quite prodigiously. There's also a bit of dubious consent going on, as he doesn't like it when people say 'no' to him and I find that decidedly unsexy.
Anyway, other than the love interest, there's reasonable character development going on with a wide range of supporting cast, all of whom would make much more interesting romantic partners for our protagonist. Even the guy she raises from the dead at the beginning. The plot itself involves quite a bit of driving around the countryside, as well as fussing about clothes and hair, not to mention a lot of those clothes subsequently getting torn off or removed, one way or another. It's also not really a great book for anyone squeamish, though if you're reading urban fantasy regularly then you're probably going to be okay with what's going on here.
All in all, not really my cup of tea and could have been so much more interesting if it had gone in a number of other directions. In the end, it turns into reasonably-entertaining urban fantasy by the numbers and that, for me at least, was a little disappointing.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a free copy of this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review.


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review 2020-06-13 20:15
I Was Born For This!!!
I Was Born For This - Alice Oseman,Aysha Kala,Huw Parmenter

english review only

audible audiobook


Summary: For Angel Ahmadi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.

Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.


My review: Alice Oseman can do no wrong!!! (and no one can convince me otherwise)


I read her three books in order they got published and I love them all three, but I can totally see her growth through them all.


I LOVE this one. Obviously. The diversity, without playing into any stereotypes. I'M SO HERE FOR THAT. The characters were just amazing, frustrating but so loveable. Seriously they are all my children and THEY DESERVE THE WORLD. But I have to say in this book the grandparents are the real MVP's.


I loved the story. It went into a completely different direction than I thought it would go. And I loved it. Seriously. Such great storytelling. And all the different relationships. I love Alice Oseman's way of writing really great, not romantic, relationships.


Now I only need to get my hands on Heartstopper and the new book that should come out soon, and I'm the happiest of all the beans.

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review 2020-06-04 13:02
The Rules of Magic
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

by Alice Hoffman


A prequel to the book, Practical Magic. Having not yet read that book, I went in without knowing the characters or where the story might go.


The Owens children, Franny, Jet and Vincent, are 'unusual' and are given specific rules to help them avoid situations where they might do magical things. No walking in moonlight, red shoes, cats, crows, books on magic and definitely never fall in love.


I found the style quick, clipped and very fast moving through the early part of the book as a lot of background information was explained. The one thing I really didn't like is that there are no chapters! I know Pratchett gets away with this but for me, it makes it difficult to set daily reading goals. It took longer to read this one as a result. The book is divided up into six parts, but I didn't feel that those separations made much of a difference to the overall flow.


I think the lack of chapters was a factor in me starting to lose interest early on, though mainly I just didn't connect with any of the characters. I found their cousin April to be particularly irritating. Everything just seems to ramble on endlessly moving from one scene to another without any plot demarcations to stand out and make a point. The issue of falling in love went through a predictable development in true fairytale form, but the emphasis on restrictions along the way felt overdone.


The writing itself was good and I expect fans of Practical Magic will enjoy this a lot more than I did. It just didn't grip me and I expect that already having a connection to the characters from the other story would make the difference.

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review 2020-05-31 18:54
Dear Life ★★★★☆
Dear Life: Stories - Alice Munro

I don't think I could do this book of short stories justice with a review. Munro writes stories about ordinary people in everyday situations that are a turning point in their lives. To have an affair, to stay or leave, to wait or act, to be silent or speak. She writes without any literary tricks and often at a remove from the characters, but each story still pulled at me in some way. 


Paperback. I discovered Munro while vacationing at a rental beach house and had finished the book I had brought with me, so was browsing the completely random selections on the bookshelves. I didn't get to read more than the first story in this collection, but it was enough to know that I needed to have a copy for myself. 


I read this book for Booklikesopoly 2020, lot Mountain Cabin 15: Read a book with a tree or a mountain on the cover, or read a book that features a main character who is a father. This book has a tree (or tree trunk, I guess) on the cover with a woodsy background.


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