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review 2018-09-19 23:15
Fantastic narration sets this horror-if-ic story apart from the others...
FantasticLand - Mike Bockoven

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Fantasticland

Mike Bockoven

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Since the 1970s, FantasticLand has been the theme park where “Fun is Guaranteed!” But when a hurricane ravages the Florida coast and isolates the park, the employees find it anything but fun. Five weeks later, the authorities who rescue the survivors encounter a scene of horror. Photos soon emerge online of heads on spikes outside of rides and viscera and human bones littering the gift shops, breaking records for hits, views, likes, clicks, and shares. How could a group of survivors, mostly teenagers, commit such terrible acts?

 

Presented as a fact-finding investigation and a series of first-person interviews, FantasticLand pieces together the grisly series of events. Park policy was that the mostly college-aged employees surrender their electronic devices to preserve the authenticity of the FantasticLand experience. Cut off from the world and left on their own, the teenagers soon form rival tribes who viciously compete for food, medicine, social dominance, and even human flesh. This new social network divides the ravaged dreamland into territories ruled by the Pirates, the ShopGirls, the Freaks, and the Mole People. If meticulously curated online personas can replace private identities, what takes over when those constructs are lost?

FantasticLand is a modern take on Lord of the Flies meets Battle Royale that probes the consequences of a social civilization built online.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Luke Daniels has essentially become my favorite male narrator after listening to this.  He and Angela Dawe were phenomenal.  They narrated several characters between the two of them, giving each voice its own sound.  Daniels did the majority of them.  He had different accents, inflections…this felt like it was a full-cast narration.

 

Fantasticland asks the question…what would a few hundred young adults do when completely cut-off from their phones and social media accounts and with no one left to tell them what to do…It's outlandish that something of this magnitude would happen, but it's laid out in a very real, very plausible way.  Seriously, this totally freaked me out, on several levels.  It was so intense and scary…if I was ever in a position to have to evacuate because of a hurricane…I'd be out.  Especially, after listening to this.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5+/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ …on a horror scale, I'll give it a 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5

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Book Cover~ It's perfect.  (Although a giant question mark laying on the ground would've been better…)

Narration~ 5+ for Angela Dawe & Luke Daniels

Setting~ Fantasticland Theme Park, Florida

Source~ I own Audible Audiobook

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I used this for Creepy Carnivals Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-09-05 19:42
Any Man will do...{{{cringing}}}
Any Man - Amber Tamblyn

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~BOOK BLURB~

Any Man

Amber Tamblyn

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In this electric and provocative debut novel, Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture.

 

A violent serial rapist is on the loose, who goes by the name Maude. She hunts for men at bars, online, at home— the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must live the aftermath of their assault in the form of doubt from the police, feelings of shame alienation from their friends and family and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny. All the while the police are without leads and the media hound the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack.

 

What is extraordinary is how as years pass these men learn to heal, by banding together and finding a space to raise their voices. Told in alternating viewpoints signature to each voice and experience of the victim, these pages crackle with emotion, ranging from horror to breathtaking empathy.

 

As bold as it is timely, Any Man paints a searing portrait of survival and is a tribute to those who have lived through the nightmare of sexual assault.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I'm not a fan of poetry type prose and this is mostly written that way…It also has a lot of social media commentary, but its also super short, only about 4 1/2 hours on Audio, so not a deal breaker by any means.  Even so, this wrecked me.  This book is not only brutally scary, it's also so unbelievably intense and emotional.  I cried real tears. 

 

Ultimately, the message that Any Man imparts is what its all about, and something I won't likely forget.  For that reason alone this is must read or listen, if you like audiobooks, I definitely recommend the Audio version.  There is a total of 14 people, including the Author, who lend their voices to this story, making it all the more compelling.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 5+/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

For its Message~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.3/5

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Book Cover~ Plain but inviting.

Narration~ 4.5 for a full cast with Glenn Davis, Ben Foster, Marc Maron, Jason Ritter, John Roberts, Russ Tamblyn, Amber Tamblyn, January LaVoy, Phoebe Strole, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, & Michael Crouch.

Setting~ Various Cities, and the internet

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-09-01 02:23
This Was A Nope For Me
Grinding for the Coyote - Serenity Snow

*Possibly spoilerish!!!!*

 

Starting out I felt this book had the potential to be really good. The first chapters weren't all that bad, so I was really rooting for it. But along the way, it just quickly became dull and an overall hot mess. I ended up putting this down for several months and picked it up again last night.  Right away it became clear as to why I had set it aside in the first place. While the premise of the story appealed to me, it didn't feel like the plot was really going anywhere. Often time other than a random action point, it felt more about the attraction of the protagonist (Adalyn) and her intended love interest, (Samarra).  It felt like there was the neverending loop of  'I know she's not looking for a serious relationship, but I want her to be mine.' trope. It got old fast when I just wanted to see where this plot was going to go! Personally, I wasn't really big on either of the characters, there wasn't anything interesting about either.

 

Nevertheless, I decided to power on, since I was already halfway through it. I really wanted to like the book, because I am always up for discovering new queer romances. The prospect of a book with lesbian shifters interested me, as I had mainly seen books with male shifters. But there was barely any lore or how they came to be within the world. Part of what makes supernatural/paranormal elements interesting to me is when the author actually includes defining information in the story. For the author to just plop it in there, without explaining much of Samarra's world, made it not that interesting to read about. Plus half of the book Adalyn doesn't even know that her love interest, is a shifter. Even when it does come out it isn't really a super big reveal. Then somehow along the way, it's casually suggested that Adalyn herself, might have shifter genes but it isn't really taken any further. It's like the author decided to drop it in, as an FYI.  Also, I don't know who edited this book, but there were tons of typos and misuse of words. Plus at one point the author I believe, intended to say Adalyn instead of Samarra, because of the way it was written. Then there were the sexy times themselves, while there were a few steamy moments that were generally not bad.

 

I found most of them to be very awkwardly written,  and not at all enjoyable to read. While I enjoy dialogue during sex scenes, it was just excessive and wasn't even sexy in my opinion. What got we most about the story was this one instance, where Samarra is thinking about how envious she is that hyena shifters are intersex. That because they had a cock they could love a woman in the way that she couldn't. That part had me going wtf?! You don't need to have a dick to make your female lovers happy! Where the author thought that needed to be said at all in the book baffles me. Way to completely ignore that there are plenty of ways for lesbians to have sex, without using a dildo. Not having a male piece, doesn't mean you aren't going to be able to please your girlfriend. Plus it seems in general that Samarra has this complex, about using her dildo. To the point that she wears it ninety percent of the time. It's totally fine that she wants to use it in the bedroom, however, to me it's clearly an issue of hers as to why she uses it. Which begs the question, could she be transgender? I don't know because it never gets brought up, so it leaves me to think that she has a narrowed minded view on the different ways you can make love.

 

Another instance that had that me shaking my head, is when the police hint at the idea of Adalyn sleeping with her boss in the past. Instead of stating that she's never been with a male and that she prefers women. Her response is to affirmatively tell him that she's a lesbian, and not bisexual. The whole tone of that seemed slightly biphobic, by the sheer audacity in her tone. It wasn't a huge thing, but it still made my eyebrow twitch. Lastly, when the big showdown finally arrived it was pretty much fell flat. It wasn't anything spectacular, it was over and done within a few sentences. Which makes the entire book lackluster and made me go 'That's it?'.  There were just so many holes within this story and I could honestly go on and on, but I am gonna end it here. I did not like this book and would not recommend it. 

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review 2014-08-03 04:02
A Revisit
Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

 

I read Anna and the French Kiss way back when I was a relatively new blogger.  When Cuddlebuggery and a few other blogs announced that they were doing a read along of the first to books in Stephanie Perkins And Trilogy (I refuse to call it the Anna trilogy since she’s only the lead in one novel) I couldn’t help but get out the embarrassing covers that make up these books and enjoy them again.  Funny thing is, you forget a lot of things from your first reading experience.  And I found a lot of things about Anna that I had sort of forgot about-both good and both bad.  For this revisit, I thought I’d list the top ten things I forgot about this book:

 

 

10) Macaroons: I forgot that this book featured the tasty treat.  And this book was what sort of got me on my foodie quest to have macaroons.  And they’re gluten free.  That makes them even better.

 

 

9) Boarding School Can be Fun: I haven’t read a book set in boarding school in awhile.  Let’s face it, most of them are boring and cliche.  You either get something like Gossip Girl but with school uniforms and dorm rooms or there’s some evil spirit haunting the campus and only the New Mary Sue can fight the evil.  However, Anna’s depiction of boarding school is fairly realistic.

 

 

8) Movie Mentions: Being a film buff myself I was checking out just how many movies that Anna read.  Surprisingly, I have seen a lot more since I originally read this book (probably because I put them on my list).

 

 

7) St. Clair: I forgot how funny and infuriating a character he can be.  I’ve read various things about this guy in other reviews.  And it’s always mixed.  I happen to fall into the like category.  Though upon reread I starting to think I prefer Cricket to Etienne (though ask me next week after I reread Lola to be sure).  I think what I like the best about St. Clair though is that he is such a complex character.  But yeah, there were a couple (okay, a lot) of moments I wanted to deck him.

 

 

 

 

6) Multiple Relationships: Though it can get a bit Days Of Our Lives-ish I do like the fact that there are multiple relationships, hookups, quasi hookups, and breakups in this book.  Let’s face it, teenagers usually aren’t as monogamous as YA makes them to be.  Though the Days of Our Lives stuff did start getting a little annoying towards the end.

 

 

5) Nicholas Sparks Bashing: Because anyone who bashes those books gets a gold star in my book.  For all you fans of The Notebook, it’s not that movie’s fault.  It’s that movie where Richard Gere dies in a mudslide-too ridiculous and cliche for words.  And for that matter, who kills poor Mandy Moore.  That’s just wrong.

 

 

4) Thanksgiving/Christmas scenes: This is how you write build up in relationships, authors who love insta love.  Learn it.  Embrace it.  And do it.  If every book would have scenes like this I’d be a happy reader.

 

 

3) Side Characters: With Isla coming I’m really paying special attention to any cameos by her or Josh.  Hey, I sort of want to know whose head I’m going to be reading about in a few weeks.  And after a deep (okay, brief) analysis on Josh I know that I’m going to be very interested in him.  He’s a tortured artist.  And I always had a thing for tortured artist type characters.  As for Isla, I like how she’s quiet and reserved in comparison to Josh’s former paramour its going to be an interesting dynamic.

 

 

 

 

2) Anna can be a real teenager: I remember Lola getting under my nerves (a bit), but I didn’t really remember Anna doing the same until the re-read.  The thing is, it didn’t really bother me.  Like with Lola, it added to the realness element of the book.  The thing is, I might have to rethink about giving Anna my YA best friend necklace.  She’s really not bestie material.  In fact, I’m starting to wonder if maybe-despite her mood swings-if it was Lola I wanted to be friends with.  I still like Anna though, but not as friend material.

 

 

1) Paris: If anything I think a big part of what works for Anna is the love that Perkins obviously has for the city of light.  I actually felt like I was in Paris.  Unlike many YA books that take place in foreign countries (I’m looking at you Royally Lost).  Anna’s experiences actually remind me a lot my own when I was studying abroad-save for the fact that I sort of really was forced in my dorm room unlike Anna since I was still in law school at the time.  Oh, and I had no  English/French/American eye candy.

 

Well, occasionally I'd get out of the study room.

 

Well, occasionally I’d get out of the study room and end up with pneumonia.  Because being a tourist in the rain…not that smart. 

 

 

Overall Thoughts:

 

 

I like this book, but I do think I made it up to be better than it actually was in my head.  Reviewing it, I saw faults I didn’t see before and I’m really excited about diving into Lola next week and seeing what I fin.

 

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review 2014-07-31 23:56
Ugh...I don't even know where to begin...
Undeniable - Madeline Sheehan,Tatiana Sokolov

I listened to an Audio version of this and it was read by Tatiana Sokolove.  It was not the worse narration but not the best either.  Maybe 3.8 Stars.

 

Synopsis:

 

Warning: This is not a "typical love story". This is an all-consuming, soul-crushing, tear-your-heart-into-pieces story. It’s intense, gritty and raw, dark and disturbing, and it doesn’t happen overnight. This is an epic love story that knows no boundaries and has no time limits. It grows and develops—with hurt, sacrifice, and heartache—over the span of a lifetime. 

Eva Fox is the princess of the Silver Demons Motorcycle Club. Growing up with bikers in the club lifestyle is all that she knows. When she’s a young girl, Eva meets the reason for her existence. Deuce West is the sexy, biker bad-ass of the Hell’s Horsemen Motorcycle Club. Like Eva, he was born and raised in the club—but that’s where the similarities end. Their first meeting is innocent, but as Eva matures into a woman, their chance reunions evolve into a fit of lust and love. Fate continues to bring them together time and time again, but their twisted journey is filled with pain, betrayal, and bloodshed that could tear them apart. Eva sees in Deuce what he cannot see in himself—a man worthy of love—and Eva spends her lifetime proving to him that her undeniable love is the one thing he can’t live without. 

This is Eva and Deuce’s story. 

It wasn’t easy. 
Nothing worth doing ever is.
And love is worth everything.

 

 

 

I'm not sure why I gave this a try...because I really don't like MC (Motorcycle Club) types of books.  The men are so asinine. Seriously, they cheat, they drink, do drugs and whatever or whoever they want.  

 

Did I mention, they cheat.  

 

Eva, the heroine didn't even seem to mind really, at least not like I would have.  Then there is the age difference, which I couldn't fathom being with someone that much older than me.  Ick.  There were moments in this book where I visibly cringed.  Especially, when it came to Frankie, her "brother".  

 

With my opinion out of the way, if you go for this sort of story, this is not badly written.  It spans a lot of years, and moves along quickly through them.  

 

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