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review 2018-03-22 21:21
2 Out 5 "A little too much Y and not enough A" Stars
You Look Different in Real Life - Jennifer Castle




You Look Different in Real Life

Jennifer Castle



For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.


The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.


Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.


But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.






While You Look Different in Real Life wasn't really for me, I think for a younger audience it may work.  The only reason I listened to this in the first place is for a reading challenge (I needed a narrator whose name started with a Q). 


Overall, for me, the characters were not memorable and it was really difficult for me to see where this story was going.  Ultimately, there is a message there and that's why the ending is the only part that got a decent rating from me.











Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 1/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 1.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 2.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2/5

Ending~ 3.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.


Book Cover~ It's whatever…

Narration~ Samantha Quan is not bad in this, but I really didn't like the book…so maybe that makes it kind of difficult to figure out how I feel about her as a narrator.

Setting~ New York and the surrounding area…I think

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)



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text 2018-03-04 00:41
Buried Treasure
Copsi Castle - Norah Lofts
Penhallow - Georgette Heyer

My house is a mess.  My studio (sometimes called "the little house," because that's what it is) is a disaster.  The workshop is worse than both of the others combined.


I have five weeks until the spring Studio Tour, which is the last show event of the season.  Scheduling conflicts forced me to cancel participation in two other shows, which wasn't good for my bottom line.  This spring Tour is a new event for our artists group, and I'm very excited about it.


Today was the first opportunity I've had to really plunge into work for it, however.  We've either had weather too cold to work in either the shop or the studio, or I've had other events going on.  And to tell the truth, I just haven't had the energy.  Part of that may have been due to the vitamin D deficiency diagnosed last month; after a month's worth of supplements, maybe that's been turned around, too.  At any rate, I was up by 6:00 this morning, threw in a load of laundry and dashed to the grocery store for a few essentials while the washer was running.  I was home before the final rinse.


And then it was out to the studio to start cleaning some of the mess.  I actually made some progress, and when it got warm enough outside, I even ventured over to the workshop.


I have to confess I almost turned around and walked back out, but I gathered up some determination and headed for the storage racks where the 80+ plastic shoeboxes of rocks are stored.



Over the years, some of those plastic boxes have rotted from the sun and started to disintegrate, making a horrible mess.  That had to be today's first chore, and it involved sorting out the rocks in those boxes.  As almost always happens when I dig into boxes of rocks that I've had for a long time, I discover things I didn't know I had, either because I just plain forgot about them or because I didn't know what they were in the first place. 


One of those sun-rotted boxes had a whole bunch of Oregon beach agates, some already polished and some not.  I sorted out a batch for the tumbler and got them started; they should be finished just in time for the Studio Tour.


Feeling proud of myself for having actually accomplished something, I began rearranging some other things in the workshop.  Most of the boxes of (uninventoried) books are at least labeled by genre, but there are other boxes containing . . . . heaven only knows what.  One of them happened to be in the way of the area I was cleaning, so I opened it to see if the contents were even worth messing around with.


I laughed out loud.


A whole box of gothic romances.  At least 50, maybe 75, maybe more.  I grabbed the Norah Lofts and Georgette Heyer from the top layer, but there's a whole lot more.  Willo Davis Roberts.  Dorothy Eden.  Now I can't even remember who all else.


I've already added my edition of Penhallow to the database.  I'll add Copsi Castle in a few minutes.  If only I didn't have to take time out to cook supper!

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review 2018-02-24 18:57
Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked from the first page and with every paragraph it just got better and better.

Going into it, I didn't really know what to expect, but I am so glad I finally read this. It is a wonderful, spell-binding story filled with twists and turns. The characters are so unconventional and amazing. You can't help but loving them and all of their flaws (although, I wanted to strangle Howl at times- the mess, always the mess). 

This is one of those books that, once you get into it, you don't even care what happens at the end; you are just happy to be along for the ride. Such a great adventure. 

The ending, while I wouldn't say it was predictable, is written in a way where you kind of know where it is heading with all of those loose ends that need tying up.

It is similar to Harry Potter in that there are multiple stories that all weave together as the book goes on. 

Amazing. I love this book. I was so glad to find out that there are two more books in the series. I cannot wait to read them. Fantastic book!

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review 2018-02-10 16:16
Quick Thoughts: Illusion Town
Illusion Town (Illusion Town Novel, An) - Jayne Castle

Illusion Town
by Jayne Castle
Book 13 of Harmony



A new adventure begins on Harmony…

With its opulent casinos and hotels, the desert city of Illusion Town is totally unique -- and will take you on a thrill ride you’ll never forget.

Hannah West isn’t the first woman to wake up in Illusion Town married to a man she barely knows, but she has no memory of the ceremony at all.  For that matter, neither does Elias Coppersmith, her new husband.  All either can remember is that they were on the run…

With Hannah’s dubious background and shaky para-psych profile, she could have done much worse.  The cooly competent mining heir arouses her curiosity -- as well as other parts of her mind and body.  And even her dust bunny likes him.

But a honeymoon spent retracing their footsteps leads Hannah and Elias into the twisting underground catacombs, where secrets from both their pasts will come to light -- and where the energy of their clashing auras will grow hot enough to burn…

Somehow, Illusion Town ended up feeling more present-day-earth-like... if that makes any sense.  The Harmony books are set in a futuristic world, on a planet in outer space with aliens and such.  And the past few Harmony books in the Rainshadow sub-series had started feeling less futuristic-spacey until about three books in, when the catacombs came back into the game.

And now Illusion Town comes around, with it's Vegas-like setting, a few references to the Arcane Society, and maybe a few instances of catacombs, and we stop feeling like Harmony once again.  If not for the presence of Virgil, the dust bunny, and the random mentions of the aliens and their catacombs, this could have been any random paranormal romantic suspense book in a present day Vegas-like city.

But really, that was my only quibble.

I liked the whole memory loss schtick, as awkward as the whole scenario was carried out.  Truthfully, it could have been executed a little bit better, but it wasn't terrible.  Watching Hannah and Elias piece their way backwards from a post psi-burn memory loss that somehow led to a Marriage of Convenience with no recollection of how they got there, waking up in a seedy motel together was interesting.  Even if the twisty reveals could have been handled a little less deliberately.

Meanwhile, another tie-in to the Arcane Society was also quite nice.  I liked having a dreamlight talent brought back to the forefront and found Hannah's dream walking skill an interesting one, though I would have liked a more in-depth look at it.  A lot of the story and the character biographies of both our hero and heroine felt a bit glossed over.  The developing bond and romance was sweet, even if not as steamy as I would have liked.

Again, I wished there could have been more of our dust bunny companion, but Virgil felt a bit left out.

Nonetheless, this is still a wonderful Jayne Castle slash Jayne Ann Krentz at her formulaic best, and I absolutely am looking forward to more in the Harmony series!



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/02/quick-thoughts-illusion-town.html
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review 2018-02-08 16:19
Quick Thoughts: Siren's Call
Siren's Call - Jayne Castle

Siren's Call
by Jayne Castle
Book 12 of Harmony
-- Book 4 of Rainshadow



In the mysterious world of Harmony, there are places filled with unexplored marvels.  But Rainshadow Island isn’t about to give up its secrets…

In the alien catacombs of Rainshadow, there are creatures whose compelling songs lure the unwary to their death.  That’s why Rafe Coppersmith, hired to clear out the catacombs for exploration, needs a music talent.  He knows the perfect one, but she probably doesn’t want anything do with him...

Ella Morgan had once fallen hard and fast for Rafe, but then he disappeared for months…and he’s not about to tell her why.  Ella, too, has secrets that only her dust bunny knows.  She’s not just a music talent, she’s a Siren: a paranormal singer capable of singing men to sleep—or to their deaths.

But once on Rainshadow, Rafe and Ella will learn that surrendering to passion doesn’t come without risks—and fighting fire with fire only adds to the flame…

This book was entirely enjoyable and entirely Jayne Ann Krentz, with her usual formulaic romance, and standard great characters.  I'm not complaining, but it DOES end up becoming a tad bit forgettable when the stories are always the same, even with a new adventure, a new addition to the ongoing series' conflict, and new developments with the overall Harmony world.

For this particular installment, I DID really like the entire Siren aspect of Ella's paranormal abilities, and enjoyed the references to "Old World" mythologies, as the characters like to put it.  I like knowing what kinds of abilities our characters possess, so even if the explanations seem a bit far-fetched, it's interesting to know that Ella's musical talent also resonates with glass and can make it... melt.

Rafe's abilities were a bit confusing, although knowing that he's lost his own, original abilities and is stuck in a psi-fever was an interesting twist.

I still love the atmosphere and the creativity of Rainshadow Island, as well as the newly discovered catacombs there.  The creation of Wonderland was quite interesting--kind of like a futuristic, alien Jurassic Park, frozen in time, and completely blue.

And then, once again, I would definitely like to see more of the dust bunnies.  While the previous installment had a wonderful appearance by our dust bunnies, I feel like this one was kind of lacking.  I mean, Lorelei was great with her powdered donut obsession, and her attachment to a wedding veil with sparkly crystals.  But she didn't really get a whole lot of story other than that, to be honest.

Nonetheless, this was still a wonderfully enjoyable paranormal, romantic suspense written by a wonderful author!



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/02/quick-thoughts-sirens-call.html
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