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review 2018-09-10 19:00
Halloween Bingo 2018: Murder Most Foul
Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

I had already seen the tv series and spoiled all of the reveals for myself. Note to others: always read the book first! That said, it was easy to picture the characters :) This book was still riveting and hits you hard with its realistic portrayal of life in suburbia and all of the little ugly truths that lie behind the picture perfect Facebook updates. I loved it. It was like hearing some juicy gossip for hours and hours. There's murder but if you haven't seen the tv show you won't know who dies, who did it and why it happened. Getting there is all the fun!

 

I listened to this one at the tail end of August so I'm going to use it as my sneak peek read for the Murder Most Foul Square for Halloween Bingo 2018. 

 

 

BOOKS CALLED:


9/1- Classic Horror 
9/3- Cryptozoologist 
9/5- Cozy Mystery

9/7- New Release

9/9- Southern Gothic

 

Squares I've Read on My Card that are not called yet:

 

SUPERNATURAL: The Mouth of the Dark

MURDER MOST FOUL:  Big Little Lies

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review 2018-09-10 16:38
Open & Shut by David Rosenfelt
Open and Shut - David Rosenfelt

I requested this book on Overdrive because I read the author's two memoirs about his dogs and I love supporting dog people and was hoping his fictional series would be fun. Someone told me his dog is in all the books and that fact made me request it. However, I am simply not a fan of the legal drama. And this is one of those and I was snoozing through some of the courtroom bits. His dog Tara plays a wee, tiny role and didn't have much character. She puts her head on his lap, he pats her head, takes her for a walk. That was IT. I was soo incredibly disappointed with the lack of doggy thoughts or action! Does that change in later books? At any rate, I'll give this one a 3. It was decent but not my kind of thing. There's some humor, a little of it a bit old-timey and corny and some of the humor is based on old tropes that might insult some people. Andy, the main character, is a huge boob when it comes to his dealings with the ladies too. Ugh. I hope he's figured out some things in the later books or he might just lose his nuts!

That's my "review". Yell at me (but don't be a dick) if the later books get better and maybe I'll try again.

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review 2018-08-24 20:12
Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite
Drawing Blood - Poppy Z. Brite,Matt Godfrey

I always refer to this book as my second most favorite book in the world (Geek Love by Katherine Dunn will always be my #1) but I haven’t read it since it was first released back in 1993 so I approached this recent audio release with equal amounts of joy and dread. Would it still be my almost favorite? Would I find giant flaws and pick it all to hell? Would I tarnish all of those memories of book perfection by reading it now when I’m all jaded and crabby(er)?

Everything I remembered loving about Drawing Blood was still here. Granted those memories were a little fuzzy around the edges but the impressions and the emotions felt left a mark on me and once I started listening, I was immediately transfixed and reminded of all the reasons why I held this book so close to my heart. It’s full of tragedy, dark romance, and real life horrors as well as some out there, woo-woo ones. If you like those things along with a well-drawn sense of place, gorgeously lush writing, flawed characters and you don’t mind explicit sex between two men (and lots and lots of it) you should give this a listen. Or a read. Or maybe both.

This is one of Brite’s (now Billy Martin) earlier works and it has all of the gothic trappings of that era. The characters have sharp edges, are ethereally young and beautiful, the sex is explicit and often and it’s always earthy and descriptive, the characters that populate this world drink and drug copiously, fall in love quickly and deeply as young lovers tend to do and music always plays a huge part in their lives. I’d say this tale is about 50% haunted house/dealing with your past shit and 50% dark and dangerous love story and it’s all beautifully gory and messy. 

Trevor is a young artist who returns to his hometown to face down the demons of his past and his demons are bad ones. Zach is a hacker on the run who lands in Missing Mile. Both have hellish pasts and when they meet everything clicks and feels right. Yes, folks, it is the dreaded insta-love in full bloom. And, yes, I am a big huge hypocrite because I typically knock off points for insta-love because it drives me crazy but in this case I JUST DIDN’T CARE. I loved them both too much to care. They don’t even meet until the book is at least a third of the way through (maybe more) but by then I knew them so well that when they finally meet it was a relief. They were both such broken souls when apart and together they just fit. They talked, they fought, they lived a lifetime of dysfunction in a few days and I will make no more excuses because, yeah, it’s insta-love and it was glorious and nothing anybody says will ever change my mind. 

It’s such an intoxicating read. The love story, the setting, the darkness. All of it. Brite assaults the senses with her prose and everything comes alive right down to the scents and tastes - no matter how gross! This isn’t a book for everyone and I’m not here to pretend that it is but if any of this sounds appealing to you, grab a copy and read that sucker until your eyeballs dry up. I don’t think you’ll regret it. 

If you’re an audio fan, I also highly recommend giving it a listen. Matt Godfrey’s narration is terrific. He creates distinctive voices for the characters. Zach’s voice is deeper and has just the slightest Cajun-esque accent to fit him and where he’s been, while Trevor comes off as more innocent/wide-eyed. How you express that with voice is way beyond me but Godfrey manages to do it. There are quite a few secondary characters that he voices very well too. 

Now I'm off to listen all over again :)

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review 2018-08-22 18:47
When Dimple Met Rishi Audio Review
When Dimple Met Rishi - Vikas Adam,Sandhya Menon,Sneha Mathan

I listened to this book on audio hoping for a pick-me-up because I’ve been reading a steady diet of darkness this summer and desperately needed a mini-break. This book was the perfect choice.

It’s charming from beginning to end and this is coming from someone who is typically annoyed by young adult fiction. It’s about a young lady named Dimple whose traditional parents expect her to marry a young man of their choosing, the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Unfortunately for them, Dimple has other plans. She’s grown up in the USA and she doesn’t want to abide by family traditions. She wants to go to college to learn, not simply to meet a suitable man. She isn’t ready to settle down and live a boring life. She wants to go to Insomnia-con and win the top prize and when her parents agree she’s pretty damn stunned.

Rishi is a young man who is quite the opposite. He feels a pressing need to do exactly what his parents ask of him because his younger brother is a flake. He’s the oldest son and feels he must become an engineer and leave his artistic passions behind, marry the woman his parents have chosen, have children and take care of his parents in their old age. He is such a good boy that it hurts my heart! He heads to Insomnia-con thinking he’s going to meet his new wife.

And it goes oh-so-hilariously-badly.

That’s all I’m saying. This is a romance. A reluctant one and that was what was so great about it. Dimple has no room in her life for a boy – until she does. It’s sweet and charming and funny and a little maddening and I loved it. I truly loved it all. Well, maybe not that stupid, pointless talent show thing but I adored the bits when Dimple was a bit of a jerk. She felt real and independent and she had this simmering anger that came out in the worst of ways and it all felt so genuine. 

There are dual narrators for this book. Don’t ask me why. It wasn’t necessary and it was jarring until I got used to it. For the first 45 minutes or so, I was thinking, “Wait, no this is not Rishi speaking! Who is this guy? This is not Dimple. Where’d she go?” If the female narrator had been able to read the entire book, this would’ve been a five star production. As is? It’s only a four.

Despite my nitpickery, this book really is adorable. It's thoughtful and sweet and the two main characters are so lovely together that you can’t help but wish them the best. This was such a nice breather of a book and was so refreshing and helped me reset my head and my mood. Now I’m ready to get back to the horror!

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review 2018-08-20 18:06
The Nightmare Room Audiobook Review
The Nightmare Room - Chris Sorensen

I liked this book so much I read it twice! This time around I listened to the unabridged audiobook read by the author who just so happens to be a professional narrator himself. Since he's a pro and the material is his, his voice hits all the right notes. He's engaging, pleasant and unnervingly menacing when he needs to be and I recommend it highly! 4 1/2 Stars 

Here's my review of the story:

The Nightmare Room lives up to its title. It is a slowly building creepfest fueled by nightmares for the first half then picks up speed in its later half.

Peter and Hannah need a new start after a devastating loss and move back to Peter’s hometown to help with his ailing parents and to heal themselves. They move into a property that Peter’s dad purchased that is huge, old and in disrepair. Hannah loves the idea of the old home but Peter’s not so sure. 

"Hannah had gotten it wrong. This was not the sort of house featured on her home improvement show; this was every house in every horror movie he’d ever seen."

Despite his misgivings, Peter, who is an audiobook narrator, sets up his studio in the dark, dank basement and soon realizes that he may not be alone down there! Is it real or is he starting to lose his marbles?

I just loved some of the descriptions of the house. It makes me long for an old haunted house of my own.

". . . he was facing a narrow, grey door. A basement door. His vision had steadied and the room no longer moved about him. But the door… It’s breathing."

This is a decent little horror tale that has a lot of layers that reach far beyond the haunted house trappings. It deals with aging, grief and past regrets that come back to haunt. The main characters come across as real and imperfect and as a reader who needs decent characterization I really appreciated this. I did want to learn more about Peter’s birth mother because I’m nosy and have so many questions but perhaps that will happen in a prequel or sequel? I can only hope

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