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review 2017-09-10 14:50
My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Farris
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters - Emil Ferris

 

My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a gorgeously illustrated graphic novel. Karen Reyes is a young girl coming of age in 1968 Chicago when her neighbor is murdered, her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Martin Luther King is shot and the local mob boss goes to jail.

 

Peppered in between all that are Karen's notebook drawings of all kinds of things-her neighborhood, her brother and mom, and the covers of pulp magazines. She also likes to draw her version of popular paintings which her brother takes her to see at the local museums. All of her drawings are on lined notebook paper and all I can say about them is that they are stunning. All in pen, but not all in color-each and every drawing is so detailed you can stare at them for a long while and continue to find new things.

 

       

 

  Never let anyone's darkness provoke you into your own midnight.

 

 

Tackling subjects like racism, homosexuality, the Holocaust and so much more, this graphic novel adds up to more than the sum of its parts. Highly recommended!

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review 2017-09-03 17:29
Audrey Rose by Frank De Felitta, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Audrey Rose - Frank De Felitta,Matt Godfrey

 

Back in the late 70's I guess, maybe the early 80's, I read this book and I loved it. I was very excited when I saw that Valancourt Books was bringing it back into print, but I had trouble working it into my reading schedule. When I was offered a chance to review the audiobook, I jumped at it and I'm glad I did.

 

It turns out that I had forgotten a lot of this story. Not only that-I think a lot of its social commentary went over my head because I was only a young teen at the time and didn't know half the things I thought I did.

 

Janice and Bill Templeton have a young daughter, Ivy, who has bouts of severe nightmares. Asleep, she runs about in a panic, yelling for her parents and screaming "Hot, hot, hot." The first time the nightmares occurred, a psychiatrist seemed to help the situation. This time around nothing seems to help.

 

Meanwhile, a strange man is spotted recently hanging around Ivy's school and standing nearby the beautiful apartment building where the Templetons live. How is this man related to Ivy and her nightmares? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This story takes place in the 70's with all that that entails. Scientology and other cults are becoming popular. Hypnotism and psychology fascinate the general public. Casual sex, (before AIDS), is becoming a thing and the social fabric of life in the US is changing. Bill and Janice Templeton seem to want to change with the times, (they get sex manuals and try to keep things fresh, for instance), but in other respects, Bill especially is set in his ways. His world view is not flexible and anything that challenges it cannot be tolerated. If only for a slightly more adaptable point of view, much of what happened later might have been prevented.

 

Audrey Rose held up for me, after all these years. There was much I didn't remember so it seemed almost like an entirely new story. Some of it is dated, of course, (remember looking for a working payphone?), but its observations of human behavior are still spot on and sharp. This isn't a perfect story and perhaps the courtroom drama could have been trimmed a bit, but I never lost interest.

 

The narration by Matt Godfrey was also spot on and helped to cement some scenes clearly in my mind. "Mommy, daddy, hot, hot, hot..." gave me a serious case of the creeps every time I heard it.

 

I'm glad this story from the golden time of horror held up and maybe even exceeded my vague memory of it. This tale supports the idea that you should always appreciate fully what you have, but you should also keep an open mind. Don't be so stubborn that you allow no room for the unexplained. You may avoid a lot of heartache and tragedy if you can do that-just ask Bill Templeton.

 

Highly recommended, especially for fans of 70's and 80's horror!

 

 

You can find your copy here: Audrey Rose

 

*I received a free review copy of this audio in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-07-17 15:56
A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly
A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly

 

This time around Charlie Parker is hired to look into the disappearance of Jaycob Eklund. Jaycob is a P.I. that has mysteriously vanished while investigating the history of a group named The Brethren. Louis and Angel get involved and the Collector and his aging father do as well. What FUN!

 

FBI Agent Edgar Ross is the man who hires Charlie and I still don't trust him or his motives. He won't even tell Charlie why he's searching for Eklund. I'm not sure where Mr. Connolly is going with this relationship, but I have a bad feeling about it, for sure.

 

Louis and Angel trade insults as always, but in this book their love became a little more real to me. You'll see why if you read it. (You SHOULD read it!)

 

Also playing a part in this volume are Rachel and Sam, Charlie's ex-girlfriend and (living) daughter, respectively. Rachel, understandably, is still angry and upset after what happened to Sam in the last book and is now taking legal steps regarding Sam's custody. Trusty Moxie, Charlie's lawyer, is on the case. Unfortunately, Rachel doesn't ask Sam how she feels about all this, but Sam makes her feelings known-in a way that is uniquely her own.

 

I loved this book! I believe I am seeing the beginning of the end, off in the distance, and that makes me sad. However, I am hoping that perhaps the series will continue in some other form, I

am hoping for an entire new series featuring Sam and her insane capabilities.

(spoiler show)

But if I don't get I will still be happy, because I believe that the Charlie Parker books have become the best ongoing series out there, bar none. They are consistently interesting, well written and just plain fun-and considering how dark some of them are, that's quite a feat!

 

I love Charlie, Louis and Angel and I love YOU, John Connolly! I can't wait to see what happens next! I highly recommend A Game of Ghosts to fans of the series, and to new fans, (but I strongly suggest you read them in order.)

 

*Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for providing an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-07-05 20:12
The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon
The Dreaming Jewels (MP3 Book) - Theodore Sturgeon,Paul Michael Garcia

Having read Sturgeon's Some of Your Blood a few years back, I've been on the lookout for more affordable Sturgeon books. Earlier this year, this one was on sale, and adding the narration was only a couple of bucks more, so I jumped on it. Luckily, I was very pleased with my decision.

 

This story was nothing at all like Some of Your Blood. But with an opening line of: "They caught the kid doing something disgusting out under the bleachers at the high school stadium.", how could anyone not continue with the tale?

 

This book is difficult to categorize. An horrific, dark science fiction tale, with humor, humanity and social commentary-these words work well to describe this story. It also seemed timeless, never once did I feel that I was listening to something that was written in the 50s.

 

I liked this book, I liked it a lot. If anyone out there has any other Sturgeon recommendations, please let me know, because I'm impressed with what I've read so far!

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review 2017-07-03 15:06
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Behind Her Eyes - Sarah Pinborough,Bea Holland,Josie Dunn,Huw Parmenter,Anna Bentinck

What more can be said about this book without ruining it for the next reader? Not much. I'm sticking with I really liked it, but I understand why it wouldn't work for everyone.

 

I thought the audiobook was a lot of fun, especially with the two main narrators alternating chapters.

 

I highly recommend this audio and I'd love to hear your thoughts when you're done!

 

Thanks to my awesome public library for the audio loan.

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