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review 2019-03-18 13:16
With Understanding by apokteino
With Understanding - apokteino With Understanding - apokteino

Yay, finished this mammoth read with a little skimming along the way. Generally well written, a crossover between Criminal Minds and Supernatural. FBI agent Castiel is abducted by supposed serial killer Dean in the aftermath of Sam's death. Dean wants to get to know his other soulmate (as foretold by Anna).

Source: archiveofourown.org/works/4907965
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review 2019-03-12 15:09
Recommended to lovers of Rock & Roll, music, and the 1970s rock scene.
Daisy Jones & The Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid

Thanks to NetGalley and to Random House UK, Cornerstone, for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

I kept seeing this book pop up all over when it came to recommendations of new releases and that made me curious. I also read that Reese Witherspoon had bought the rights to adapt it into a TV series, and the comments about the book made me think about the movie This Is Spinal Tap, although the musical genre is different (yes, it’s all Rock & Roll, baby) and the story is not intended as a parody, and all that together with the evocative cover, I knew I had to check it out.

This is one of those novels where I was intrigued to read what other reviewers had said, and, curiously enough, one of those where I could see the point of both, those who really loved the book, and also those who hated it. Somehow, I could see the merit on both types of opinions, and it really depends on the kinds of books you enjoy or not. A couple of provisos, here. Many of the reviews talk about the author, and especially refer to one of her previous books, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which seems to be a well-loved novel, and for people who had loved that book, their expectations were very high, and some found this book too different (some fans of the writer also loved this book, so don’t let that put you off). I haven’t read any of the author’s previous novels, so I cannot help with that. After reading the reviews and this novel, I became curious about her other books, but I come to it without any previous knowledge. The second proviso is that quite a few people compare the ‘fiction’ band at the heart of the story, The Six, that is later joined by Daisy Jones, with Fleetwood Mac (with Daisy Jones then being a stand-in for Stevie Nicks), but I must confess not to know enough about the ins and outs of this band to be able to comment (I was quite young when they were at the height of their popularity, and I never read much about them, although having read a bit about them since, yes, I can see similarities, but I can also see differences). So, if you are a big fan of Fleetwood Mac, you might be more intrigued to read this novel, but you might also hate it. You’ve been warned.

So, what are the comments on both sides that I agree with? The way the story is told will not be to everybody’s taste. This is the story of the band, and of Daisy Jones, pieced together through interviews conducted many years after the band was created, and that makes it very fragmented. It does follow a chronological order, and we get to know about Daisy Jones, and about the Dunne Brothers (Billy and Graham), from before they got into singing, composing, and playing songs, and later on the rest of the members of the band, Camila (Billy’s girlfriend and later wife) and their manager also come into play. These fragments of interviews often refer to the same events, providing the reader different points of view, and sometimes completely different descriptions, but it can cause a disjointed effect, and it will suit some readers but others will hate it. Personally, I found it fun and quite dynamic, but it is true it does not immediately create a picture of what’s going on in one’s head, in the same way as more standard narratives do.

There were also a lot of comments about the characters, and how some of them were one-dimensional and it was difficult to tell them apart. As I have said before, the story starts with the origin of the band (we later learn why), and then we only get to hear from the rest of the members as they join the band or meet the other characters. For me, Pete, Eddie and Warren were not distinctive enough. Yes, Eddie always seemed to have issues with Billy and didn’t like his style of leading the band. Pete had a girlfriend in the East and he would phone her often, and Warren was the drum player, but other than that I’m not sure I got a strong impression of who they were, and when later in the book one of them wanted to leave the band, I realised that I must have been told two of them were brothers already, but because that hadn’t feature prominently anywhere (after all, the interview is about the band, their tours, and their records, and the questions asked are mostly about the time they spent together), it had not registered with me. Camila is talked about a lot, because many of Billy’s songs are about her, and although she seems to represent an old-fashioned model of femininity, the staying-at-home Mom, she gets involved at crucial points and she has a more important role than one might think when the story starts. I did feel that the female characters were the strongest, and although that did not make them immediately sympathetic and likeable, I thought they were the more complex and the ones I most enjoyed. I liked Karen (I’m not a musician, but I did feel a connection with her) the keyboard player, as well, and she is, perhaps, my favourite character. And I quite liked Daisy’s friend, Simone, also, although she is mostly portrayed as her friend, rather than being an individual in her own right, and that comes in part from her telling Daisy’s story and her role in it rather than giving us much insight into her own character. Although Daisy marries at some point, Simone is more of a steadying influence for her, like Camila is for Billy, than any of the men she meets and talks about in the book. But I agree, the way the story is told does not make for fully rounded characters, although many of the situations will feel familiar to people who have read a lot of biographies of rock & roll bands.

Some reviewers were disappointed by the ending, that perhaps feels more like a whimper than a bang, but I thought it made perfect sense, and yes, there is something I’ve seen described as a twist, that is perhaps not truly a twist, but it helps join everything together and adds a nice touch.

I am not an expert on music, and not a big follower of bands. I have not been to many concerts, although even with that, it is difficult not to have heard or read about the use of drugs, wild parties, hotel rooms trashed by bands on tour, groupies following bands from city to city, and the paraphernalia around the 1970s world of rock & roll music scene. There is plenty of that here, and also of envies, of fights, of creative differences, of the process of composing, creating, and editing an album, down to the shooting of the cover, that will delight people who really love the period and reading about it. Even I, who am not knowledgeable about it, enjoyed it, particularly learning more about the process of creation, although it might not sound authentic to people who truly know it. The writer gives the different characters (at least the main ones) distinct voices, and the lyrics of the songs, that are also included in full at the end, fit perfectly in with the band and its themes, and it made me keen on reading more of the author’s novels.

There is more than R & R to the book, or perhaps some of the themes seem inherently related to it, like drug addiction, family relations, alcoholism, abortion, fatherhood, bringing up children, the role of men and women in the family, child neglect and abuse… Although some of them are only mentioned in passing, we get a fuller picture of others (Daisy is very young when she leaves her parents and starts visiting bars, taking drugs, and engaging in behaviours that would be considered risky at a much older age, and drug and alcohol addiction and its consequences are discussed in detail), and readers must be cautious if they find those subjects upsetting.

I have talked a bit about the characters and said which my favourites are. In some ways, Billy and Graham are the most sympathetic to begin with. Their father abandon them when they are very young, and they work very hard, are talented, and support each other through thick and thin. However, when Billy becomes addicted to drugs and then gets sober and becomes the head of the band, he puts himself and his family first and is not always likeable (even if creatively he sounds interesting). Daisy, on the other hand, sounds at first like a rich-spoiled girl, but her family pays no attention to her, and she is in fact neglected. She is selfish and egotistical as well, but she has no role models or understanding. I liked her attitude, but not her in particular, at least at first, and her behaviour will be alien to most people (although typical of the image we might have in our head about what a rock star would be like). However, the way the story is told gives us the opportunity to read her later reflections and the way she now sees things and how she evaluates much of what she did at the time. And although I didn’t particularly like the Daisy of the period (she is described as a magnet to everybody who met her, but I never had the feeling I would have liked it if I had known her), I came to appreciate the older Daisy and her take on things.

What did I think of the book? I really enjoyed it. It panders to most of our standard images of what the life of a rock & roll band would have been like at that time, but it gives an insight into parts of the process that I found interesting. It also creates some credible female characters that have made their own decisions and fought their own fights, and in the world of music that is not always easy to find. The way of telling the story worked for me, although I know it won’t work for everybody. I highlighted a lot of the story, so much so that I decided to leave it to readers to check a sample and get a sense of the narrative style. Does it deserve the hype? Well, perhaps not for me, but it’s a good read and I can see why it will captivate some readers more than it did me. Oh, and for those who love audiobooks, I’ve read very good reviews of the audio version, and I understand that there is a full cast of narrators and each character is voiced by a different person, so it is worth considering.

If you are a rock & roll fan and enjoy trips down memory lane, especially to the 1970s, I’d recommend this book. And I hope to explore further novels written by the same author.

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review 2019-03-11 23:15
Book Review for Queen by Kerri Ann
Queen (Restless Souls MC #1) - Kerri Ann
 
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Queen
Series: Restless Souls MC #1
Author: Kerri Ann
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: February 7, 2019
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy provided for honest review
5 stars
 
 
 
 
 
The Queen, is a woman not to be toyed with. She takes what was owed, keeping it until the debt is paid. I was a debt to be paid. I'd understood my lot in life early, knowing my life was forfeit. Until the day he arrived. 
 


Dragged across the scrub, laid in the stone house, I watched and listened. I saw who he was. A kindred soul that was now a debt like me. 

 


The Queen was playing her game and he was just a new piece on the board. His strength, his fury won't help against her cunning, and deciding to help him could be my death.

 


Following the story of the Broken Bows MC, the Restless Souls MC continues the battle with the vindictive wicked cartel Queen. 

 


Tick tock. A chiming bell.

I'm your little slice of hell.

 

The King of cream. You made him fall.

A Queen. The heart. I'll stand tall.

The pieces set. The places dealt.

There's nowhere left to run.

I've set the board. I've set the trap.

Now it's your time come.

 

Down and down, until I win.
Your downfall is my sin.
 
The Knights will fail. One by one.
Until all the King's men fall.
 
Their power wains, I'm ready to maim.
They'll reap what they have wrought.
 
The victory is mine.
Brought out by their design.
 
Tick Tock. Tick Tock.
Time's up.
The Queen will win.

 


The Queen is a standalone, but is best read after King and Pawn from the Broken Bows MC. Recommended to read Christmas at the Clubhouse Anthology.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
This new book explores the lifes of Vaca and Codero aka Cap
 
Let's start off by say this is a fairly new author for us and we really enjoyed this latest story as it was dark,edgy,full of drama and it started off with a bang and just sucked you wright in.
 
This story is not for the faint of heart and might have triggers for some as the plot is very dark and its content contains graphic scenes.
 
When we started reading this story we were a little but on edge as we haven't loved all this authors books in the past but, in this current read the author drew you right in from the very first pages with just one heinous act.
 
The character's mainly the main ones Cap and Vaca were really strong character's. Corero aka Cap's life was filled with tragedy and neglect and a man who grew up on the streets and then joined the military became a self made man who is now the President of the Restless Souls. Vaca was given as payment for a debt owed by her family now would live a life of slavery,torture and rape for the next 15 years.These two broken souls are thrown together due to the betrayal of another but, perhaps fate has intervened and might just turn out be each other saviors.
 
We enjoyed the character's most of them are dark and broken other's sadistic and mad but, we will say that the content of the story put us on edge and made us more uncomfortable more than once because of all the the sick stuff that transpired throughout it.
 
If I had to pick a favorite character mine would have to be Vaca as this women surprised me time and time again after all she endure she still stayed strong and willful. Omg ! Vaca's story was enough to bring me to tears as well as my knee's.My heart broke for this women and the life she was force to lead.I have no other words than just say heart wrenching...
 
Cap was another who's pain you felt who had trouble dealing with death of someone who he considered a brother.Cap's pain was drowning him and your heart ached for the devastation he was experiencing as his life was spiraling out of control. 
 
The story was so dark as well as intense and it had so much going on in it to keep your interest and engrossed and turning the pages.Drama kept unfolding one tragic event after another secrets coming to life but,among the chaos their in lyes one savior for them all.
 
The story and plot effected more than just the main character's and all of them where living in hell and under the rule of a sadist and my heart broke for all those other broken souls too and as the plot forges on you see just how sick this Queen really turned out to be because a bombshell is dropped right into our laps that we never saw coming and it's an earth shattering one!
 
The story does not end on a cliffhanger but ,we were left with a lot of unanswered questions.Like who are these other players ? Is there more than one traitor ? Is there more than one game in play? and so forth...
 
This dark read was very entraining !
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                
 
 
 
Mother of two insanely (well trained) sarcastic men, wife to a dangerously smolder inducing grumble bunny (fireman), and friend to some amazing ladies (you know who you are). Thanks for reading, thanks for being a friend, and I look forward to meeting you in the future for drinks, danger and laughs.
 
Living in Northern Ontario, Canada, Kerri loves to read, travel and find new reasons to write you fantastic love stories. Remember, not all love is clean. Dark, light, angsty, sexually charged and twisted—that’s her genre.
 
It’s heart wrenching stories where the muse directs her. As the instrument of their lives, the stories are told piece by piece with emotion, that has the story read like a movie. You can hope for the good guy to win, but it won’t always happen. She can’t guarantee an HEA (happily ever after) or HFN (happy for now), because life doesn't always have those. 
 
Enjoy the OMG's and tears. Tear your hair out, toss a book or two, because I want you to feel their pain too. As they live it, absorb it on the pages.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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review 2019-03-05 14:03
Not a Proper Child: A True Story of Abuse, Violence, and Survival Against the Odds - Elizabeth Shepard,Nicky Nicholls

This is Nicky’s story of how she was abused and betrayed by the people who should’ve protected and loved her the most. It is distressing to witness just how cruel and horrible some people can be. Anyone not moved by this memoir must have a heart of stone.

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text 2019-03-01 10:59
My First Part Of March's TBR
Kim - Rudyard Kipling
Only Daughter - Sarah A. Denzil
Neon Prey (Lucas Davenport #29) - John Sandford
Dark Blossom - Neel Mullick
You're Not Safe - Mary Burton
The Summoning (Krewe of Hunters #27) - Heather Graham
The Secrets We Bury (The Undertaker's Daughter #1) - Debra Webb
The True Story of the Great Escape: Stalag Luft III, March 1944 - Professor Jonathan Vance
The Violent Abuse of Women in 17th and 18th Century Britain - Geoffrey Pimm
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