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review 2020-02-03 15:18
Book Review: Lock and Key (Nocturne Academy #1) By Evangeline Anderson
Lock and Key - Evangeline Anderson


*Trigger warning

This novel mentions and goes into detail about cutting.

(spoiler show)



This book was a journey that started out frustrating and ended with a bang! I'm so glad I pushed through because I would have missed out on a fantastic story.


Megan had a not so great life after the death of a family member and eventually getting passed onto her aunt didn't help where she was at mentally. I found her naiveté and her denseness very frustrating in the beginning of the novel but it was understandable to a degree. It didn't help things when her classes didn't answer any questions outright and no adult would inform her of what her situation with magic was. It took over 10 chapters for information to start floating in and even then it was a very slow trickle. 

She also ended up being this all-powerful witch that didn't require training and that kind of bothered me a little towards the end.

(spoiler show)


Griffin was great overall, though the way Megan dismissed why he was in the circumstances that he was in was troublesome, to say the least. He was overall a sarcastic and lovable guy with a dark and protective streak that would pop up here and there. I liked how communicative he was with Megan after things got serious between them. Though his age was never confirmed it made me feel kind of icky when Megan confirmed she was only 16 and I didn't know how much older he was than her.


Now onto what bothered me throughout this story: The overall pacing. This novel started off slower than I usually like. It took over 20 chapters to finish her first day at this new school. There were things that were mentioned with detail that didn't necessarily have to be there. There were moments when things got-going and they were fantastic until everything slowed down again. I understand this issue is a personal preference of mine but I can't help how it detracted from the story for me. Also having a glossary of terms would have been very helpful throughout the book.


The ending tied everything together and it was incredible! It was action-packed, fast-paced and magical *wink wink*. It made everything the author had set up in chapters past worth it. It also set up the next novel for this series which I'm still on the fence about. 


My Favorite Quotes:


"People are so impressionable, they can die of imagination."

"Nobody can make you feel inferior unless you let them."

"And I wish, most of all, to protect you, no matter the consequences."

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review 2020-01-30 16:13
A Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

4.5 stars for this 1999 novel by Laurie Anderson because it’s written so well that reading it in 2020, you can’t even tell by the style or story that it was written over 20 years beforehand. The story of Melinda is heartbreaking, and one of learning to overcome sexual violence and the loss of every friend you thought you had. Being able to watch her reach her lowest point and come back up from it, and then learning to understand and accept what happened to her is an astonishing read.


It's written a lot like a personal diary, so you can see through her eyes and thoughts during her freshman year of high school. She'll tell you about "IT" and about the friends she lost and the ones she gained, as well as her parents and the teachers that made a difference. She considers herself the “outcast” of the school because of the way everyone treats her after she called the cops at the big party before school started. In Melinda’s defense, she had just suffered from a traumatic experience at this party, and she felt lost and confused and reacted to her mind’s urge to seek help.


This story hit close to home because while reading her story, it reminded me a lot of the years where I hit my lowest points and had to come back up from those, around the same time Melinda was facing hers. Although my personal experiences were very different from hers, I can understand her when she feels so lost and alone and seeks comfort in sleeping away the pain and the confusion.  On her way back up, she understands what happened to her that night at the horrible party, and she confides in a past friend about this with the purpose to protect her from this certain guy, the “IT.” Even though it doesn’t go the way she was hoping it would, Melinda begins to feel a weight lift from her shoulders.


*SPOILER* The climax of this story is at the very end, when it’s the end of the school year and Melinda is cleaning out the abandoned school janitorial closet that she spent much of her time isolating herself inside. This is when “IT” finds her here and locks them inside before he attacks her. She tries to fight back but he’s much stronger than her, while cursing and degrading her. But then Melinda finds her voice, and she screams. And she screams and she fights back, and she breaks the mirror on the wall that she hid underneath a poster of Maya Angelou. She grabs a broken shard of class and holds it to his neck, cutting him slightly, and rendering him powerless while people who heard her scream come running to her rescue. She won.


If there was anything I could change or improve about this story, I would want to put more emphasis of her art project into her story. The item she chose at random was a Tree, with which she had to create any form of art that resembled her object by the end of the year. She struggles with this assignment throughout the year but ends up turning in her final project on the last day, finding inspiration through everything she had overcome. I believe this project had an important connection to her story of growth and strength, but I do wish it was shown more throughout the story, rather than implied or left to be connected by the readers. It is written well the way it is, but it took me awhile to make the connection.


I would recommend Melinda’s story to reader’s everywhere, because it’s a story that changes you. It inspires you, and connects with you on a real level, no matter who you are or when you read her story.

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review 2019-12-17 02:10
MyBook Box
Monster, She Wrote - Lisa Kröger,Melanie R. Anderson

So this was a My Book Box selection.  I can't remember what month because I am behind.  But it was cool because this book was on my list, and My Book Box delivered again.  The non-fiction selections are usually pretty darn good.  (The Mystery ones are a little more hit or miss, but more often than not a hit).


So this book is about the women who invented and contributed to the horror and gothic genres.  Therefore the book starts with writers other than Mary Shelley.  The choices are basically English and American authors, and while the famous names are dropped (ie Anne Rice, Jackson, Shelley), there are enough lesser known writers mentioned.  The book will also add several other books to your tbr pile.


While the main writers mentioned are English and American (majority white), there are several women of color and international writers mentioned as further reading  as well as the last few sections of the book that are less profile based.  Butler is mentioned more than once as is Due among others.


There are some strange bits though.  While Anne Rice gets a profile, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is only mentioned in passing, which is a bit strange considering that the Count Germain series is the longest lasting vampire series.  While Tananarive Due is recommend more than once (at least three times I believe), she really should have had her own profile (and Joplin's Ghost should have been mentioned).  It was also strange that Datlow and Windling's collections were not mentioned in any of the further read bits.


Still it was enjoyable.

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review 2019-10-26 20:31
The Predator, Animorphs #5
The Predator - Katherine Applegate,Northam Anderson

Marco was always my least favorite of the Animorphs. He always voted against missions, claimed he didn't like his super awesome powers, and made stupid jokes all the time. That was always theoretically balanced by the fact that he was dealing with a lot of grief at home. His mother had died, lost at sea, two years before, and his father left work and never went back. Being a jerk was a Marco's defense mechanism. Sure, that's a real thing, but ten-year-old me didn't have to like it, and I still don't.


Getting Marco's perspective did not add as much dimension to his character as it did the others on the team. He worries about his dad and what would happen if he never came back from a mission. The Animorphs keep getting into more dangerous territory and Marco wants out.


This book is important because it involves more development of the newest Animorph, Ax, and the decision to infiltrate a known Controller's office in an ant morph. It's best read, but that experience gets referenced a lot in later books.


The requisite set-piece ending was pretty damn cool, but doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you think twice, except as a necessity to keep the story going. And, since we've finished meeting the whole original team inside their heads I'm going to say Applegate probably never returns to the woman the team rescued from the Yeerk Pool back in 'Invasion'




Next: 'The Capture'


Previous: 'The Message'

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review 2019-10-10 03:59
Good Story and Good Characters
Finn (Anderson Billionaires #1) - Melody Anne

It had been three months since the bomb had ended Finn’s military career and he was dealing with the repercussions of the incident. For a man of action having any limiting whatsoever was something very hard  for him to swallow. He went to the hall he been summoned too but he was happy to see his brother Noah there. Noah said he didn’t know what this was about but he was told it was important. Brandon another of Finn’s brothers and the comedian of the family came in. Than Crew and Hudson walked in. All five  brothers were there. Finn was the oldest brother. Than Joseph Anderson filled the door of the conference room. The brothers wondered what the man who was basically royalty wanted with them. He owned half of Seattle’s businesses, provided ten of thousands of jobs, donated ten of millions of dollars. Each year, and ran many charity organizations. On top of that he was a family man. There were rumors he meddled, but noone had anything bad to say about Joseph Anderson. Joseph told the men their father had been his uncle. He said he took them away and they weren’t able to find the brothers. He also said their mother had called him on her deathbed , apologizing and explaining it all to him. That meant they were his family. He said he had an inheritance for them . their mother didn’t have much, but her wishes for them was to have a family and a true start in life. He didn’t believe in just handing something over, it has to be earned. Money comes and goes but in the end family is their legacy. He added “You’re my family and i want to know you. So I’ve come up with a project that we can work together. That means we can get to know each other and I get five new additions to my already beautiful family. I know you might need some time to think about this and I'm okay with that as well. You’re Andersons which means you’re stubborn as hell, but it also means I know you’ll make the right decision.” He added he wasn’t going to pry right than. They could meet at his place in three days once they’d had time to process this. He said here’s the project and his address. He looked forward looked forward to speaking more to them. But it was all of them or none as it was a family project. Finn is sin shock. He thought they were all alone in the world. Finding he had a large family threw him for a loop. Even though their father had been a monster, their mother had raised them with values, integrity, and morality. Noah said Joseph didn’t need them in his life so maybe he did want to get to know them if he’s putting this much effort to come up with a project. The brothers reached for the files and opened them. If they had known the storm that was descending on them, they might have run from that room without ever laying a finger on the folders Joseph had given them. Being the eldest, Finn had the most memories of hsi deadbeat, alcoholic, selfish father who had abused his wife and children , and hadn’t known the meaning of the word love. Finn wasn’t sure he wanted to know this family and he didn’t trust Joseph Anderson. When they got to Joseph’s house he said he wanted to know why Joseph was  doing this. He didn’t know them. He didn’t owe them anything. Why was he creating this massive [project that just so happened to fit all their careers? Joseph answered he believed in family. He also believed in hard work. He didn’t just pull the project out of the seat of his pants. It’s something very special to his katherine. When he discovered he had five nephews there was no one better for the job. Finn knew his brother wanted to do the project so he said okay, he thought they were up to the task. Brooke wasn’t your typical anything. She’d been called many things but never boring, never ordinary, and never girlie. She took pride in who she was, what she had accomplished and what she was still capable of achieving. She had grown up tough with her big brother Jack, who she had idolized. But she had just lost him in the military three months ago. She had fallen apart when the soldiers came to her door to tell her. But at least she knew he had been proud of her. Brooke was now lost. She wasn’t sure how to survive without her best friend, her coach, her family, her heart and soul. She wasn’t sure she wanted to be happy in a world where Jack didn’t exist anymore. Her town was small and she loved it. But if the rumors were true it was going to turn into a media circus. The Andersons had bought a huge parcel of land north of town and were beginning a massive project for veterans. She didn’t want the circus, but she was all for doing anything involving veterans. She was a veteran herself. There was no way she couldn’t be involved. Brooke stopped in the Martial Arts School and said she had to make sure her patients were being taught self defense correctly. Finn was there and the teacher and eh said he had seventeen years in the military. He said he would use her to show some self defense moves. Before he knew it she had him on the floor and though he reversed her hold he was completely surprised such a petite woman did that. He told his brothers later he was going to marry Brooke. 

I enjoyed this book. Brooke and Finn had hot chemistry. I loved Brooke and Finn together and how they interacted. I really liked that Brooke helped Finn. I think they both were in insta/love at first not love,especially Finn. I loved how Joseph was rich but very much a humanitarian and really treasured family. He wanted his whole family in love start their own family.  I loved the double POVs so you could know what both main characters were feeling when they were feeling it. My heart broke for Brooke losing her only family - her beloved brother. I loved Brooke had such a couple great friends since middle school. I really liked the plot and the pace. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend it.

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