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review 2018-09-08 03:49
Math Curse
Math Curse - Jon Scieszka,Lane Smith

The book is about a young person that is told in her math class that math is used in everyday life. The student then goes home and wakes up the next day with all kinds of math problems in her head. The story continues throughout her day, explaining how math works in her life each day. Math Curse is a great book to read in a math class at the first of the year. Most students think that math is not needed beyond the classroom and they do not realize they use math already in their everyday lives. 

Before reading this book, have students take a poll on who thinks that math is important outside the classroom. The students could even have a short debate if there are others that disagree with the majority. After reading the book, have the students come up with different ways they personally use math in their everyday lives. 

 

Grade 2-5

Book Level:

Lexile 560L

Accelerated Reader 3.7 

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review 2018-09-01 23:01
Spiral by Koji Suzuki, translated by Glynne Walley
Spiral - Glynne Walley,Koji Suzuki

Spiral begins hours after Ring's ending and stars Ando, a medical examiner who was once classmates with Ryuji, one of the main characters in Ring. Ando performs Ryuji's autopsy and is intrigued by several findings. First, Ryuji died of sudden heart failure despite being otherwise very healthy. Second, he has a mysterious ulcer in his throat. Further tests eventually reveal that Ryuji may have been killed by a virus that bears an eerie resemblance to smallpox. As Ando investigates, he learns of several other victims. But how is the virus transmitted? What does it do? And why did one man who was exposed to it, Asakawa, survive? The case takes on greater urgency when Mai, Ryuji's lover, disappears. Was she exposed via Ryuji somehow, and can she still be saved?

I highly recommend that those who haven't read the first book, Ring, do so before reading this one. And then maybe just stop there. Although Spiral tied up a few of Ring's loose ends, I didn't consider it to be a worthwhile continuation.

Suzuki attempted to make Sadako's curse more scientific rather than supernatural in this book, and it really didn't work for me. I could accept that the curse was virus-like in its transmission and requirements, but Suzuki also had it behaving

both like a sperm and an egg (just because it happened to sort of look like them?). Also, Suzuki envisioned DNA producing exact replicas of people, right down to their memories up to some point before their original death ("junk DNA" is a recording of a person's memories, or some nonsense like that). This went way beyond what I was willing to accept, even in a horror series featuring a killer videotape.

And the part where Suzuki gave Ryuji a special ability to communicate with Sadako made me want to bite something. There was no sign that Ryuji had any kind of paranormal abilities - he should not have been able to form an agreement with Sadako the way he did, or use his own corpse to create codes for Ando to decipher. And Sadako, considering her history, should have hated a rapist like Ryuji too much to let him somehow use her own abilities.

(spoiler show)


There were a few nicely creepy scenes, but for the most part Ring had a better and more unnerving atmosphere than Spiral. Ando spent a lot of time trying to figure out the stuff Asakawa had already figured out in the first book, and a little more time trying to figure out what Asakawa hadn't gotten wrong. There were a couple code deciphering sections that reminded me of parts of works like Soji Shimada's The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, inviting readers to decipher the codes along with Ando, but those ended up feeling more like filler than anything particularly useful. And speaking of filler, there was a excruciating 20-page summary of everything that happened in Ring, because apparently Suzuki couldn't trust that readers of Spiral had read the book before it. Yes, this section tied in with a discovery later in the book, but Suzuki could have accomplished the same thing in a couple pages.

Spiral reminded me a great deal of Hideaki Sena's Parasite Eve in the way it tried to incorporate science into its horrific supernatural developments, and also in the way it crapped on most of its few female characters.

I was cautiously optimistic that Mai would be a main character I could actually root for, despite her unfortunate affection for Ryuji. She seemed to be reasonably intelligent and not too much of a wet washcloth. Whereas Ando developed an instant crush on Mai, she spoke to him mostly out of a wish to maintain a connection to Ryuji and wasn't the slightest bit interested in any other sort of relationship with him. At the same time, she wasn't so attached to Ryuji as to fall completely apart after his death. She kept her professional commitments in mind and tried to fulfill them.

Unfortunately, my expectation that Mai would turn out to be one of the main characters of this book, working with Ando the way Ryuji worked with Asakawa in the first book, turned out to be way off the mark. After a couple on-page appearances, she disappeared from the text except as occasional motivation for Ando. Her ultimate fate depressed me, as did

Suzuki's reduction of women of child-bearing age to nothing more than potential incubators for Sadako.

(spoiler show)


Some of Ando's thoughts about Mai were bizarre and made me wonder if Suzuki had any idea about how female bodies work. When I first started the book, I snickered at the way Ando instantly concluded that Mai must be having her period because of one vague sentence from her and the fact that she looked pale. While I realize that some women have overly heavy or lengthy periods that can give them anemia, considering the situation I'd have assumed that Mai was pale because she was in shock at having discovered Ryuji's body only a few hours earlier. This thing about Mai having her period came up multiple times in the book, with Ando concluding each time that his intuition must have been correct. Ando also seemed to think it was perfectly natural for a grown woman's used underwear to smell like milk (yes, there's a part where he sniffs her underwear - it's one of the first things he does when he's left alone in her apartment).

I doubt I'll be continuing this series, and I kind of wish I had stopped after reading Ring. The new developments in Spiral made me more angry than excited. One thing I was left with was a desire to find and read more Japanese horror written by women. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like much has been translated into English. I've already read Mariko Koike's The Graveyard Apartment and would welcome other recommendations.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-08-20 11:04
Review! Curse Across Time by Shelley Munro!
Curse Across Time - Shelley Munro

 

 

Life is a chariot race for Marc Angelo and Tarquin Navona. Friends, rivals and rock stars of Circus Maximus in ancient Rome, they wow the fans with their daring driving and take their choice of lovers. A fine life indeed—if Marc weren’t harboring feelings for Tarquin. It’s difficult to behave normally when he craves physical contact with his friend’s muscular body, but Marc resists, too afraid of losing Tarquin entirely.

 

He needn’t have worried. Fate has plans for them. Very long-term plans…

When a powerful sorcerer catches Marc and Tarquin with his wife, he curses them to imprisonment in stone. Centuries pass, and Marc’s love and lust for Tarquin only increase. His friend doesn’t have a clue, but that’s the least of their problems. They have no idea how to escape their predicament—and may be doomed to spend eternity cursed.

 

Inside Scoop: Marc and Tarquin take a brief dip into M/F/M ménage waters. They discover quickly enough they should’ve contained their lust to each other.

 

This book was previously published under the title Stoned.

 

 

Curse Across Time is an charming and passionate erotic romance with sexy gladiators that takes across time. Marc and Tarquin are two strong, compelling character that easily capture readers’ attention and draws them into their story. The relationship between these two is sweet but not without its problems both emotional and physical, since they are imprisoned in stone for centuries. The plot is fast paced and smooth and while the short side keeps readers captivated from the very beginning.

 

Curse Across Time is a delightful and sensual read that is perfect when only have a short time to yourself or when you just need a quick and passionate hit of romance.

 

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28189697-curse-across-time

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/curse-across-time-by-shelley-munro

 

Author - https://shelleymunro.com/books/curse-across-time/

 

 

 

Available in ebook at:

 

Amazon - http://smarturl.it/CurseAmazon

 

 

USA Today bestselling author Shelley Munro lives in Auckland, the City of Sails, with her husband and a cheeky Jack Russell/mystery breed puppy.

 

Typical New Zealanders, Shelley and her husband left home for their big OE soon after they married (translation of New Zealand speak – big overseas experience). A twelve month long adventure lengthened to six years of roaming the world. Enduring memories include being almost sat on by a mountain gorilla in Rwanda, lazing on white sandy beaches in India, whale watching in Alaska, searching for leprechauns in Ireland, and dealing with ghosts in an English pub.

 

While travel is still a big attraction, these days Shelley is most likely found in front of her computer following another love – that of writing stories of romance and adventure. Other interests include watching rugby and rugby league (strictly for research purposes), and curling up with a good book.


Website - http://www.shelleymunro.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8603.Shelley_Munro

 

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/ShelleyMunroAuthor

 

Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyMunro

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/shelley-munro

 

Pintrest - http://www.pinterest.com/ShelleyMunro

 

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Munro/e/B001JOWGNK

 

 

 

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review 2018-08-14 16:19
Review: Enchanted by Melinda Kucsera
Curse Breaker: Enchanted: [The More Epic Version] - Melinda Kucsera

Enchanted by Melinda Kucsera is the first installment of the Curse Breaker series. Sarn is a mage in need of training with a son whom he loves dearly, and must protect at all cost. 

Plot 3/5: An interesting plot, but leaves me asking more questions than answers. These issues could become clearer in later books, but with almost 500 pages, I would have liked more information.

Characters 4/5: Well fleshed out characters.

World building 3/5: The world created by the author is unique, but I would have liked more information as to the magic system and how it came about and how it is used.

Pacing 3/5: The pacing seemed sporadic with frequent repeats of certain aspects of the story, but not enough information in other aspects.

Writing 4/5: Decent writing with little grammar issues.

Overall 3.4

Amazon purchase.

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review 2018-08-07 12:08
Talk to each other
The Curse Breakers - Denise Grover Swank

Dear Ellie and Collin, 

 

Sit your asses down and talk, do not threaten each other, try to debate the issues and come to some form of agreement about what's going on.

 

Collin, you're being an ass, listen to her.

 

Ellie, resolve your issues with Collin instead of playing around with David, it's unfair to everybody in the situation.

 

Reverse google images does not seem to be a strong thing in this world.  Googling things might help, also stopping being martyrs for the cause is a good thing.

 

I'm curious to see what's going to happen here and how things are going to be resolved.

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