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review 2016-11-08 21:50
The Westing Game
The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin

This book is so confusing! I read this book when I was either in the 5th or 5th grade and I remember I had to keep an organizer to keep up with everything go on inside the story. The story is a murder mystery and very good. The story is about am apartment complex that is owned by a millionaire. Years later, the complex is being unattended and is deserted. A girl named Turtle goes into the house on a dare and finds a dead body and that is when the game begins. I would most definitely use this book in my classroom. I enjoyed it so much. I would use this book to introduce predicting or continuing the idea of redicting. This is a very complicated book and I believe 6th graders would be able to comprehend it easier. The level of the book is a 6.1.

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review 2016-09-28 16:45
Monstress Volume 1
Monstress Vol. 1 - Sana Takeda,Marjorie M. Liu

4.5 Stars, buy it

The art is gorgeous even if the story is a bit confusing.  And we have talking cats!!! But this is very gory and is definitely for adults only.  The story is extremely intense and is an emotional rollercoaster. I love the little fox character.  One thing I don’t like about this is seeing animals hurt.  I understand why they do it but ugh I hate seeing animals hurt. I was really confused in issue #4, so much so I considered starting at the beginning again. I have to admit I haven’t been reading the lecture sections after each issue because I hate being lectured at. I suppose it would help to understand the confusing world.  I think this comics need cliff notes. LOL. Issue 5 is less confusing but still I’m struggling to understand all of it. I’m going to have to reread this at some point. Issue 6, the end of this volume is left on a cliffhanger and like a lot of the issues is confusing.  Overall, I do recommend the series, the art is amazing and the story (of what I can understand) is pretty amazing too.

Description from Amazon:Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steampunk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both. Entertainment Weekly praised MONSTRESS as "one of Image Comics' most imaginative and daring new series" and dubbed it the "Best New Original Series" in their year-end "Best Comics of 2015" list. Collects MONSTRESS #1-6

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text 2015-12-31 23:57
Reading progress update: I've read 33%.
Just a Bit Confusing (Straight Guys Book 5) - Alessandra Hazard
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review 2015-10-31 09:29
Three strikes and you're out!
Poisoned Waters - Ermisenda Alvarez

Poisoned Waters sells itself as a tale of corruption. This is an apt description.

Not just from the character's POVs either. The writing style is one of the worst I've seen in recent months. It is written in a completely removed way. Passive voice alert! Not to mention the use of adjectives was abused almost as much as some of the characters in the story.

The amount of typos and issues in the text outside of the passive voice issue, were, thankfully minor. If they'd been more prominent I'd have had to stop reading.

Strike One!

My issues with the writing style and editing aside, the story was certainly complex. Everyone was screwing everyone else. Many people hit, punched, stabbed or just down right abused the female characters and when we did find a reasonably decent male character amongst the rabble, they were from a racial minority and pigeon-holed into the completely racist societal norms from the era this book is set.

Strike Two

I did not like any of the characters. I did not like the story very much and, that synopsis... Don't bring Helen into it. She's barely even in the story, she's not important. Hell, finding her murderer isn't even important.

The convoluted plot read more like an episode of Days of our Lives than a respectable novel. This needs a serious edit to cull the problems mentioned above and the seriously out of hand storyline and character arcs.

Now, the ending... This is where I was hoping to find some redeeming quality. Alas I was mistaken. I don't want to spoil the ending for any of you who are still to read this, but really... it was so unbelievable that I think I may have strained myself from rolling my eyes in disgust too much!


Strike Three - you're outta there!

Things I noticed:

4% - humbly stood (beside) him.
27% -'pleasure pearl' really?!
39% - She disliked being made (to) wait.
The man was no(ne) other than...
50ish% - since when did they know she had the pocket watch?
65% - "If (delete if, add Is) this all you wanted?"
66% "You're (delete You're, add Your) memory isn't...
74% - desolate desert... Desolate is redundant
88% - Several dozens (either several dozen, or just dozens)...
91% - amassed should be 'surrounded' or something similar.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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review 2015-02-10 20:50
It needs a bit of an edit, but it's a great idea.
CHIMERAS - E.E. Giorgi

Chimeras is a combination of a gripping thriller/mystery whodunnit paired up with a science fiction/medical police procedural.

Track, our protagonist (perhaps anti-hero could fit a little here too), is a sensorially heightened being. He relys heavily on his heightened sense of smell in investigations, and really, who wouldn't in that situation? He's a blokey-bloke, a bit rough, and bruised. He's got a checkered past, but tries really hard to do the right thing and works his butt off every day.

Satish, his partner, was an interesting one. I did feel he was a bit of a crutch though. If the plot needed a prod, Satish was able to point Track in the right direction with one of his weird/insightful quotes or musings.

1. Track was a little safe, but there was enough new stuff to make me like him.
2. Twisting plot.
3. Complex scientific explanations made easy to understand.
4. The police procedural information, including investigations.
5. Diane's character - her feistiness and strength.
6. Hort - I liked her fireyness and passion, and even the kind of disfunctional but functioning relationship...

1. The masses of exposition that occurred.
2. Too much scene setting - I don't need to know about every traffic update in the area every time we start a scene.
3. Diane's character - her emotional game playing (in her defence it was kinda deserved, but I still didn't like it).
4. The ending.
5. Too many characters.

So let's unpack some of this...

When we got to the 'ah-hah moment' I had no recollection of who the killer was. Even with Track's re-investigation after the fact, I couldn't keep all the characters straight. We're introduced to scientists and police and investigators, social elite, families, boyfriends and girlfriends, maids and kids. I had a few moments where I was like:


and then:


This was a huge shame to me, because I really, really liked the story. I wanted to know what was happening, why people were being killed and who the hell was doing it. What I wanted though, was a feeling of:


This book needs a bit of an edit, if you cull the extra information about each scene (and the traffic reports!) and cull a couple of the characters who aren't really required in the story, this would easily be 4-5 star material.

One thing I noticed:
52% - ...distinctive as an (delete an) Elton John...

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of the book in return for an honest review**

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