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review 2018-09-08 01:11
How Can This Be Happening In America?
A Teacher's Story: The Attempted Character Assassination of a Gifted Teacher - Eardine Reeves Lee

An incredible story of one teacher's experiences teaching elementary school. Raised in the south, while dealing with the racism of the area, the author works her way through college to become a teacher. Taking her first job in Ohio, she excels. Then her husband's job transfer takes her back to the south, where she finds that racism and sexism is still alive and thriving. My God, how can there be people who are still so ignorant and prejudiced in America today? It truly sickens me what the author went through. How, in today's world, can a school principal and his cronies go on an excursion to rank all of the teacher's looks on a scale of 1-10, and post the rankings on the classroom doors? Incredible.
The author, despite all she experiences, never gives up. She relies on her faith and strength of conviction to continue to teach.
There are so, so many great quotes in this book. I must have highlighted a hundred or more! But I won't ruin any readers experience by sharing them in this review. 
In the end, the author gives lists of advice for teachers, students, administrators, and parents. We would all be better people if we could each try to practice the ideas in our lives!

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review 2018-08-31 18:39
3.5 OUT OF 5 "Picking the right narrator is so important" STARS
The Swan & the Jackal - J.A. Redmerski

 

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Swan and the Jackal

J.A. Redmerski

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Fredrik Gustavsson never considered the possibility of love, or that anyone could ever understand or accept his dark and bloody lifestyle—until he met Seraphina, a woman as vicious and blood-thirsty as Fredrik himself. They spent two short but unforgettable years together, full of lust and killing and the darkest kind of love that two people can share. 

 

And then Seraphina was gone. 

 

It’s been six years since Fredrik’s lover and sadistic partner in crime turned his world upside-down. Seraphina went into hiding and has eluded him ever since. Now, he’s getting closer to finding her, and an innocent woman named Cassia is the key to drawing Seraphina from the shadows. But Cassia—after sustaining injuries from a fire that Seraphina ignited—suffers from amnesia and can’t give Fredrik the information he desperately seeks. Having no other choice, Fredrik has been keeping Cassia locked in his basement as he not only tries to get her to recall her past—because she and Seraphina share it—but also to protect her from Seraphina, who clearly wants her dead. 

 

But Cassia is a light in the darkness that Fredrik never believed existed. After a year subjected to her kindness and compassion, he finds himself struggling with his love for Seraphina, and his growing feelings for Cassia—because he knows that to love one, the other must die. 

 

Will light win out over darkness, or will something more powerful than either further destroy an already tortured soul?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I know I would've liked this more if she had a different narrator for Fredrik.  Fredrik's story is a dark, twisted, and deeply sinister story and this narrator didn't pull that off, at all.   His voices for other people were just comical…so not the right vibe.  This is one of those books that would have been better if I actually read it. 

 

This whole series is on the dark side, and this is billed as being a dangerous and boundary-pushing crime and suspense series, and I would say that is true.  I went into the first book in this series, Killing Sarai, thinking it would be all sunshine and rainbows by the ending; and so I was disappointed when it wasn't like that. For Reviving Izabel, I was more aware of what this series is about and I was really able to let go of that hope, and I liked it so much more.  With The Swan & the Jackal, I personally believe this ending was done just the way it needed to be.  This is not cute and fluffy romance, it's gritty and raw, yet it has sophistication. 

 

*Disclaimer:  Do not read this series if you need to have a happy ending…because there hasn't been one of those yet.  This series is not for everybody, it's different and sometimes different is good 

  

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 2/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.7/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.7/5

Originality~ 4.3/5

Ending~ 4.2/5  Cliffhanger~ I know the series continues, but Frederic's story has some closure.

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Book Cover~ It goes with the book well.

Narration~ 1 for Luke Daniels, he was awful, I did not like him at all…his voices were just so wrong.5 for Andi Arndt & Kate Reinders, they were both very good, but unfortunately, at least 3/4 of the book is from Victor's pov.

Series~ In the Company of Killers #3

Setting~ Baltimore, Maryland mostly…

Source~ I own Audible Audiobook

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text 2018-08-13 01:18
Also just off library waitlist.
The Spider (Elemental Assassin, #10) - Jennifer Estep

I'm likely to just star rate rather than review this 10th in series.

 

 I expect it will certainly deserve a review, but once I'm so far into some series I seldom have anything new to say.

 

On the other hand, description says it's her origin story.

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review 2018-07-22 22:48
Loved the Assassin's Theme!
Assassin's Heart - Sarah Ahiers

***Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned***

 

The world building is really well done with different Families pitted against each other and each one wanting to rise up in the ranks to gain more influence and power. There’s elements of fantasy, as it also involves deities and Gods (each city has their own patron deity). Lea has Safraella for example, who happens to be the Goddess of her city and protects her followers from the ghosts that frequent outside during the night. I loved this concept as it kept the world interesting and played a large role in Lea’s character.

 

Speaking of Lea. I really enjoyed her as a character. She’s fiercely loyal, headstrong, and her skills are on point. She’s a survivor and once she sets her goals, she does it. Despite all she goes through, she continues to keep going. I love her devotion to Safraella. It may seem fanatical to some but it’s what kept her advancing into her plot for revenge. (Also, she wouldn’t have the drive to go find Les and Marcello)

 

Although I rather liked Lea and Val together but well he just had to go ahead and do that thing didn’t he but well, Family before family right? Les and Lea were all right. Not the ideal chemistry that I thought she had with Val, but it’s still sweet nevertheless. I can’t say I enjoyed reading the romance in the book though. It felt awkward and out of the place (do we really have time for this when revenge is priority??) and I didn’t care too much for reading about that. I preferred the plotting and surprises that were in store for Lea with the Da Vias.

 

Aside from the awkward moments of romance, the plot itself was great. It’s got good amounts of action and drama to keep the reading going, and the excellent world building really helps in this case. I especially liked the encounter with Lea and the Goddess Safraella herself. The last third part of the book closed nicely (bwahaha! Revenge was sweet!!!!)

 

I’m looking forward to the second book, I’d like to know what happens next considering what Lea chose to do.

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review 2018-07-13 18:08
4.7 Out Of 5 "skin-shifting" STARS
Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf) - Ryan Graudin

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~BOOK BLURB~

Blood for Blood

Ryan Graudin

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There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.

 

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Non-spoiler-y review for both books.

 

The narration for this series is fantastic, she does German words and accents with ease, all while staying completely comprehensible.  Yes, even for me.  I highly recommend the Audio version for this series.  Although, the novella Iron to Iron is only available in book format, but well worth the read anyway.

 

An alluring, atmospheric, alternative historical where the Germans and Japanese win WWII.  In the first book Wolf by Wolf, the resistance recruits Yael a skin-shifter (Sounds a bit paranormal-ish…but it's really more like Science Fiction with the way it's done.) to impersonate Adele Wolfe, a racer in the Axis Tour, to assassinate Hitler.  Things end on a cliffhanger and Blood for Blood picks up where the first book leaves off.  From there it's a race of a different kind.  To not only live but follow through on killing the real Hitler.  The writing is captivating and the characters are inspiring.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 4.2/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ No, not at all.

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Book Cover~ Awesome

Narration~ ☆5☆ for Christa Lewis...so good!

Series~ Wolf by Wolf #2

Setting~ Japan & Germany

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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