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review 2018-04-21 19:35
Zombie Abbey
Zombie Abbey - Lauren Baratz-Logsted

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. ]

A story with Austen undertones… and zombies. (I’ve seen it compared to ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’, but not having read that one, I honestly can’t tell.)

At Porthampton Abbey, a couple of years after World War I, the Clarke family has to contend with the problem of the entail, just like in ‘Pride and Prejudice’—meaning that if one of the daughters (preferably the elder, Kate) doesn’t marry very soon and has a male heir, their family will lose their estate after the death of Earl Clarke. Which is why the latter has invited a couple of potential suitors to stay for the weekend, including an older businessman from London, a duke, and a recently discovered cousin who’s very likely to inherit anyway, considering he’s the only male heir (but here’s to hope he’ll marry Kate, and all will be well in the world). And the story would go its posh, merry way, if not for the strange death of a villager, found half-devoured… A villager whom his widow has to kill a second time with a bullet to the head.

The beginning of this story definitely has its appeal: the Clarkes display a comical mix of common sense (Kate when it comes to hunting, for instance) and quirky, whimsical inability to grasp that other people are not only their servants, they’re, well, human beings with their own lives, too. This was a conflict in itself in the book, with the ‘Upstairs’ people having to realise that they have to pay more attention to the ‘Downstairs’ people. The build-up to the part where zombies actually make an appearance was a little slow, but in itself, it didn’t bother me, because discovering the characters (and rolling my eyes while trying to guess who’d kick the bucket) was quite fun. Granted, some of the characters weren’t very likeable; the earl felt too silly, Kate too insensitive… but on the other hand, I liked where Lizzy and Grace started and how they progressed—Lizzy as the girl whom everyone thinks stupid, yet who turns out to be level-headed when things become dangerous, and Grace being likely the most humane person in her family. The suitors, too, looked rather bland at first, however a couple of them started developing more of a (pleasant) personality. And I quite liked Fanny as well, the quiet-at-first but assertive maid who refuses to let ‘propriety’walks all over charity.

After a while, though, the style became a little repetitive. The way the various characters’ point of views were introduced at the beginning of each chapter or sub-chapter, for some reason, tended to grate on my nerves, I’m not exactly sure why; and while I don’t have issues with casts of more than 2-3 POV characters, here the focus regularly went back to some action already shown in a previous chapter, but this time from another character’s point of view, which felts redundant.

I also thought that while there -were- zombies, I’d have liked seeing a little more of them. There was tension, but I never felt the story was really scary (for me and for the characters both), and the moments when a character got hurt was usually due to their being too stupid to live and doing something that no one in their sane mind should’ve done anyway.

Finally, I’m not satisfied with the ending: I don’t know it there’ll be a sequel or not, but if it’s meant to be a standalone, then it leaves way too many things open.

Conclusion: 2.5 /3 stars. I’m curious about how the situation at Porthampton Abbey will unfold, and if there were a sequel, that’d be good, because it’d mean the characters could finish growing, too.

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text 2018-04-11 07:05
Teaser - Sparks Fly

 

Everly wasn’t excited over her impending meeting with the enigmatic Prince Sage. Being one of only four women from whom the Prince gets to choose in marriage was never something she valued. Her goal was to politely and elegantly remove herself from a forced wedding due to long standing traditions. Handsome Prince or not, she won’t marry for anything but love. 

Once Sage proceeds to the next candidate, Everly finally feels she can move forward with her life. On her own terms. That is, until she receives a mysterious request, asking her to solve a riddle, taking her on a night she’ll never forget.

A fervent adventure ensues, and attraction builds as the excitement of the night unfolds. Sparks fly in more ways than one just as she finds out who’s stealing her heart.
 

Mark it to your TBR  ➔ http://bit.ly/2ogKeTu

 

Sparks Fly is LIVE and on KU ➔ http://amzn.to/2tNlRCZ

 
 

 

Handsome Prince or not, she won’t marry for anything but love. 

 

Sparks Fly is LIVE and on KU ➔ http://amzn.to/2tNlRCZ

Mark it to your TBR  ➔ http://bit.ly/2ogKeTu
 
In case you missed it, Kitty's Book Spot! review: http://bit.ly/2JCyQLR
 
 
 
 
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review 2018-04-11 00:00
Come As You Are
Come As You Are - Lauren Blakely This Prince needs a Princess, but has run out of places to look. A broken heart, a masquerade, a perfect night and he may have just found his Cinderella. Flynn knows how to get what he wants, but for Sabrina with daylight comes reason. Will she risk her future for a chance at right now? Come as You Are blends the phenom that is Lauren Blakely with the fantasy of a fairytale wish and a dash of cold hard reality. Passion unfolds with a bit of entertainment, a handful of humor and fistful of heart.
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text 2018-04-09 21:42
Blog Post #1
I Survived #8: I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011 - Lauren Tarshis

Hey, I'm Ty Laughlin from Riverview Jr./Sr. High School. I am really into fantasy and realistic fiction. I really tend to gravitate to WWII books. Those are my favorites. Although it is nonfiction, one of my favorite books from the WWII topic is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Unbroken is about a former Olympian who is drafted into WWII. He then crashes in the Pacific Ocean and is taken by Japanese soldiers to multiple concentration camps. Louis (the main character) just tells his tough story of the struggle through WWII.

 

The novel that I am currently reading is I Survived: The Japanese Tsunami. I know, it seems a little bit below my grade level, but it is a good book. I have kind of just started the book, so I cannot really say that, but it is better than I already though it would be. The main character, Ben, is visiting his Japanese Uncle's house in Japan. There is obviously a tsunami coming, but I do not know if Ben will survive. I can still probably predict that Ben will survive because this series does not really seem like the type of novel that would have the main character die. Right now, the author's style has not really been reveals as I am only 17 pages into the book. I can say that the transition from the first chapter into the second stood out to me greatly. In the first chapter, they revealed the climax of the book by talking about the tsunami, and how it "made Ben feel as if he was getting wrestled by the water, and beaten badly." (Tarshis 3). This really stood out to me because I thought that ruined a little bit of the book for me. It took the thrill of the climax away. I hope it does not ruin the whole book though. So far, I think that this book will be okay, except for that little part that I mentioned at the end. I can't wait to finish it!

 

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review 2018-04-05 15:49
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) - Lauren Graham

I rarely read autobiographies or biographies. I barely read magazines or newspapers in the effort of avoiding celebrity gossip. So I surprised myself by reading this new book by Lauren Graham, who, whilst having played a wide variety of roles, will be most well known as playing Lorelai Gilmore in The Gilmore Girls.

 

Very few people will be unaware that Netflix recently showed a reboot of the popular TV show. In four ‘mini movies’, the viewer revisits Stars Hollow and it’s wonderfully varied and often quirky characters. I was a fan of the original show, I enjoyed watching the stories of Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory, how they traversed life’s little obstacles on the road to Rory eventually leaving home. Whilst not a super fan, I can’t quote verbatim my favourite lines or scenes, I do remember the series with fondness. I remember how homely and appealing Stars Hollow seemed, the difficult yet often touching relationship Lorelai had with her parents, the will they, won’t they storyline between Lorelai and Luke and the rapid fire nature of the conversations between mother and daughter. Scenes that stayed with me would invariably include Friday night dinner, Sookie discussing the latest Sue Grafton book, Michel being wonderfully curmudgeonly and Lorelai regaling Rory of her long labour.

 

I was curious to see what would happen in the reboot, and not having a Netflix subscription I thought I’d do the next best thing; I’d let Lauren Graham tell me.

Talking As Fast As I Can is a short book at just over 200 pages but it is packed with information, anecdotes and reminisces that make it a pleasure to read. There are some moments when I genuinely laughed out loud. Obviously I have never met Ms Graham but I can only imagine that this book is how she is in ‘real life’. The book looks at Lauren Graham’s career, how she went from high school plays to the big screen. Quite open about the unstable nature of acting, she is down to earth when assessing her success. Also a breath of fresh air is the awareness of the body conscious aspect of Hollywood. Instead of touting this diet or that exercise plan she discusses that simply eating healthily and getting some exercise is the best way. I am also going to blatantly pilfer the Kitchen Timer technique her friend advised her on when writing her novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe.

 

I found myself speeding through this book. It is written in such a frenetic yet fun way that you feel as if you are having a conversation with Lauren Graham, albeit at the speed of an extremely caffeinated Lorelai Gilmore.

 

There are sections of the book that talk about the new Gilmore episodes. If you intended watch the program I would do so before you read the book. There are also some references to U.S. T.V. and personalities that are not really as well known over in the U.K. so some of the jokes and anecdotes passed me by.

 

Lauren Graham has written a warm, witty and entertaining book, perfect to curl up with for a few hours. Now I just need her to tell me those four last words…

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