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review 2018-02-17 19:15
Nevernight (but still puts to sleep)- DNF at 50%
Nevernight - Jay Kristoff

So many people in Bookstagram love this series. Me, not so much. I found it hard to slog thru the first 25 pages. The reading was tedious, so I checked out the audiobook thru the Libby app. Even at 1.25x the speed, it was still a slow mountain to climb. At 5 hours we were only at 103 pages. The pages are littered with asterisks and crosses denoting references at the bottom of the text, and the audiobook read them all...

 

Plus, Mia, our main character was lacking in anything that really made me feel for her. She causes the death of 2 people in a caravan with her own stupidity and almost causes a third, but the third managed to live so swears a blood oath to Mia for...her survival? It made no sense to me at all. She pretty much got your friends killed, you owe her nothing.

 

The language, while not bothering me, should be noted is not appropriate for teens, in my opinion. One character accuses another of being a child of rape and says his father probably "didn't wipe his mother's stink off his cock". That just doesn't seem okay for a book a 13-year-old might pick up. Call me a prude. Plus Mia loves the word "c*nt". And sells her virginity to a boy prostitute and tells him to "fuck" her. Way strong for what I was expecting.

 

And yet, boring as hell. Nothing happened. 10 hours of listening and only one mildly interesting event took place. Sand kraken. Which, let's be honest. They're just the things from Tremors.

 

 

So, no. I've got much better things to do. Sorry, Mr. Kristoff.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-11 00:32
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
A Head Full of Ghosts - Paul G. Tremblay

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There's something wrong with fourteen-year-old Marjorie Barrett - her mental health seems to be declining, yet treatment from medical professionals isn't helping her one bit. Desperate to pull through the tough time where money is dwindling and Marjorie's sanity is failing, the Barretts decide to sign up for a reality TV show, where the "possession" of their daughter can be documented every minute of every day.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

This was Horror Aficionados' January group read! Once again, a book that wasn't even on my radar, and I never expected to like it as much as I did. What I assumed to be a story of a typical, run-of-the-mill possession, turned out to be a very thought provoking tale about the hardship (and destruction) of one family. It also touched upon several controversial subjects relating to religion and the patriarchy that dominates the Catholic faith. There certainly was a narrative here that presented itself in the form of blog posts that were periodically included amongst the chapters, and whilst the posts themselves were rather long-winded, they added a contextual dissection of events, often including an abundance of pop culture references. I found that my appreciation of these interruptions varied - one moment I enjoyed Karen's rambling, the next I felt disinterested.

Back to the story itself - Merry's account of her younger self instantly pulled me in; I found how her eight-year-old mind worked to be endearing, despite at times seeming to have a great deal of maturity for her age. What she, as a child, had to go through was nothing short of appalling, but rather than some evil force being the obvious villain, it was a lot more close to home, or should I say, close to Merry.

The plot heavily relied upon the interpretation of the reader, as it's essentially up to you to make your own conclusion as to whether Marjorie was indeed inhabited by some demonic entity. As for me - I leaned toward the non-supernatural explanation. There was just nothing concrete; she didn't display anything remotely inhuman. Sure, she appeared to be knowledgeable, but as stated in the book, she owned a laptop and spent most of her time on it, and we all know that literally anything can be found on the internet if you know where to look. I believe that she was a very sick girl that was exploited for money. A blunt way of putting it, but it's the ugly truth - in the face of serious financial struggle, her parents made a decision to forgo conventional medicine, and instead used their own daughter's aliment to save their nice house. What thus followed was the moronic reliance upon a priest and the accommodation of a TV crew. If you haven't already guessed, I one hundred percent believed the parents to be at fault. They were the villain.

Of course, I could be completely wrong in my thinking and theory. Perhaps Tremblay's intention was indeed to tell a tale of a devilish presence residing within a teenager. I'd just have to question the lack of paranormal activity if that were the case; unlike The Exorcist, there was nothing that couldn't be rationally explained. It also crossed my mind how unreliable Merry was as a protagonist. She admitted to making things up, to embellishing the truth, and it struck me that she probably had some mental issues of her own. The very last twist only proved how inaccurate her initial account turned out to be.

In itself, fellow reviewers tend to either love or hate this one. In no shape or form would I describe it as poor, quite the contrary. I couldn't wait to pick it up and continue reading, despite little happening in the grand scheme of things. It's not full of blatant scares and gore, but a slow burn of the foolishness of humankind.

Also, reality shows are stupid.

In conclusion: A different sort of horror; one that made me think and question everything. My first experience of this author, and it won't be the last!

Notable Quote:

"On the last day, their father left the house to go find food. He told Merry not to open the front door no matter what and to stay out of the basement. Hours passed and Merry didn't know what to do because Marjorie was coughing and moaning and speaking gibberish. She needed food, water, something. Merry went down into the basement to look for some secret stash of food that they'd forgotten. Instead she found tips of the growing things poking out of the basement's dirt floor. She watched them grow and grow, and as they grew, they pushed up a large shape out of the dirt, and it hung off the growing things like a broken puppet. It was the body of their mother."

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/02/11/a-head-full-of-ghosts-by-paul-tremblay
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review 2018-01-26 23:04
The 3 H's Trilogy
The 3 H's Trilogy: The Head, the House, and the Hell - Brian Barr,Rick Gregory,Brian Barr
The Head
 
What would you do if you found a lone human head in the yard? You’d probably do something practical, like dial 911 or bury it. What if that head started talking to you and begged not to be left alone? Yep. That’s the situation our heroine Elizabeth finds herself in.
 
This tale is equal parts horror, suspension, love story, and humor. First, it’s a decapitated head named Bill complaining about a headache. Ha! Poor Bill doesn’t have many memories but he does enjoy Elizabeth’s company. As time goes by, Elizabeth comes to care for Bill as well despite Bill’s off-putting odor.
 
Things move along as Bill insists they go in search of his body. More memories come back and Elizabeth is drawn into a twisted paranormal situation. Let’s just say that Bill comes from a messed up family.
 
It was fun and I wasn’t expecting so much humor nor the love story. Also, on a personal note, my husband’s name is Bill and I couldn’t help but picture his head as The Head in this tale. That just added to the enjoyment of this story, not that I want to decapitate the man. Just if he ever ends up in that situation, I’d like to think I would love him all the same. For such a short story, it was full of entertaining surprises.
 
The Narration: Rick Gregory did a great job as Bill the detached head. He fluctuated between serious and caring, pleading and decisive, with ease. His character voices were distinct though I felt that Elizabeth could sound a bit more feminine without sounding slightly cartoony.
 
The House
 
Retired cult buster Daniel Paine often chats with his long dead wife, a woman who he couldn’t save from a cult. Now the ghost of Alexis Bailey haunts him, begging for his help so that she can truly be free of the cult her family built. Daniel may be retired but he’s not useless!
 
It took me a little bit to connect The House with The Head but I was probably a bit slow due to allergy medication. Yep. I’ll go with that. So Bill, the detached head from The Head, is Alexis’s brother. The house at the ending of Book 1, The Head, is the same house referred to in this book, being the Bailey Cult family home.
 
What I loved about this book was that I often wasn’t sure what was Daniel’s reality and what was his hallucinations or products of his schizophrenia. It gave a very supernatural aura to the tale. Also, this story is quite a bit more serious than Book 1. There’s not much humor and no real love story unless you count Daniel talking to his dead wife off and on throughout the story.
 
There’s little glints of the true messy horror that is contained in the Bailey cult house for much of the book, adding to the suspense. Of course, as we near the end of the tale, those glints turn into solid imagery complete with body parts and blood.
 
The Bailey cult was interesting in that they do ancestor worship but in a very unhealthy way. I loved that Daniel used to be an excellent cult buster, world renowned. I think this would be a very rewarding, if tiring, job. I think a whole series could be written about Daniel’s career. (Looks hopefully off to the author).
 
In the end, things don’t go as Daniel thought they would. The House seems to have a spirit all it’s own and that is a malevolent one. I enjoyed Book 1 quite a bit but I enjoy Book 2 a little more. The serious tone coupled with Daniel’s character really reeled me into this tale.
 
The Narration: Rick Gregory is doing this series justice! I really enjoyed his narration. His female voice for Alexis was well done. Daniel has quite the ups and downs emotionally in this story and Gregory did a good job capturing those.
 
The Hell
 
This final installment is quite a bit more serious! Book 1 had some humor and even a touch of romance to it. Book 2 showed us how twisted that romance was but still had some quips and sarcasm here and there. This book is quite a bit darker. We take a walk through the Bailey family tree as we meet Gregory, the grandfather, and he reigns down a type of hell on the occupants of the house. Never fear though! The ladies have been coming up with an escape plan…. of sorts.
 
So eventually we get to meet the paranormal investigators Susie and Mac. They’ve been doing this for some time and both are sensitive to the paranormal. Susie receives a desperate plea from a client to take out the Bailey house. Alas, arson is not in Susie’s skill set and pretty much goes against her morals.
 
But then we meet Mac’s new friend. That’s a game changer for Susie! This story was full of unexpected twists and I was delighted with each one. The ending winds up and up to a fever pitch as evil throws punches at good and good-ish kicks back. Not everyone gets what they want by the end (and that’s great for us rooting for Susie and booing Gregory) but things end on a rather positive note. I wasn’t expecting that but it was nonetheless quite suitable for this trilogy. 5/5 stars.
 
The Narration: Rick Gregory has done a good job narrating this series but I found this book narration could have used just a little polishing. There’s a few mispronounced words and sometimes the pacing is just a little off. Over all though, it’s a good performance. I can tell that Gregory is fully engaged in the story (perhaps because the Big Baddie is named Gregory?). He had distinct voices for all the characters and his female voices were feminine. 4/5 stars.
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text 2018-01-08 00:05
Life and such

Buddy the beagle just noticed a diamond shape on the linoleum and is trying to ¨dig it up¨.  The diamonds are all over but he only cares about that one for some reason.  I wish the floor had more texture so he could file down his nails some doing that.  

 

We are getting ready to go on our vacation to California tomorrow night and my husband caught the crud I had.  My son and I both had the stomach flu for a good week.  Yesterday was the first week I´ve been totally better.  My husband is just starting now and going to be stuck on a plane and traveling with that.  I´ll make sure he packs extra underwear and maybe some depends. My husband is going to hang out with us at his mom´s house and then he is going to fly to another city in California where a friend lives and then they are going to drive to Vegas.  I´ll stay with my MIL where I can be more comfortable.  We will have our own fun.  She will probably want to go play some slots there in Cali though and I find that really boring.  You don´t even pull levers anymore, just push the button, spin, bloopidee-bloop, nothing....push the button, spin...etc  I would rather go shopping since they actually have places to shop there.  

 

I´m excited to go though.  I can´t wait to see GREEN TREES and FLOWERS.  My MIL said there are some things blooming in her yard.  

 

My book is not making me happy.  It is in rough shape so if it doesn´t get better I´m tossing it.  

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review 2017-12-30 00:00
Just Above My Head
Just Above My Head - James Baldwin Just Above My Head - James Baldwin
I wonder, more and more, about what we call memory. The burden - the role - of memory is to clarify the event, to make it useful, even, to make it bearable. But memory is, also, what the imagination makes, or has made, of the event, and, the more dreadful the event, the more likely it is that the memory will distort, or efface it. It is, thus, perfectly possible - indeed, it is common - to act on the genuine results of the event, at the same time that the memory manufactures quite another one, an event totally unrelated to the visible and uncontrollable effects in one's life. This may be why we appear to learn absolutely nothing from experience, or may, in other words, account for our incoherence: memory does not require that we reconstitute the event, but that we justify it.


Από τα δυνατότερα έργα του Baldwin κι από τα πιο χαρακτηριστικά της ιδιαίτερης γραφής και κοσμοθεωρίας του.
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