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text 2015-10-31 21:29
October Roundup Addendum
The legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving
The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde

I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as planned last night, then followed it up with another Classic, The Canterville Ghost! Both are short stories.

 

While neither was particularly scary, they were both entertaining and I can tick off two more Classics from my 'I really must read that someday' list.

 

So, mini-reviews:

 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving


This is written in an old version of English that reminds me of Quakers. It's the story of a lanky teacher, Icabod Crane, who moves to a small Pennsylvania Dutch town called Sleepy Hollow. He has aspirations to marry a local heiress and there is a tradition in the town of telling spooky stories, especially about a Hessian soldier who was killed by beheading and now haunts the roads as the Headless Horseman.

The story is funny in parts and certainly engaging. There's one exciting bit and I found the ending particularly amusing, as the reader is left to come to their own conclusion as to what actually happened. Well worth the time it took to read.

 

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

Again. this is more funny than scary, although it turns rather emotional near the end. An American family moves into an old English manor house and is warned that a ghost comes with the property, which they dismiss out of hand. When the ghost manifests, the family reacts in ways that the ghost doesn't expect and a comedy is born. There is a general Victorian tone to the narrative which suits the story well.

 

I'll say no more as it would give too much away, but this is short, free from several legitimate places like Gutenberg and I think Amazon, and definitely worth a read.

 

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text 2015-01-28 03:28
Quick update - plus mini reviews!
The Moon and More - Sarah Dessen
Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard
The Battle of Jericho - Sharon M. Draper
Just Listen - Sarah Dessen

Hey everyone! I'm back in the swing of things with grad school, so sadly I haven't had as much time to be on here... bummer! Just wanted to give you a quick update on how things are going with me and post some mini-reviews of the books that I've been reading lately. 

 

The biggest news in my life is that my husband and I found out about a week and a half ago that our baby is going to be a GIRL! We can't wait to meet her - only about 18 weeks left, assuming she arrives on June 2 as planned! 

 

School, again, has me super busy, as I'm taking 15 credits this semester so I'll only have to take 9 in the summer when baby comes. In undergrad, this would have been sooo easy, but in grad school, it's definitely challenging! Thankfully, I'm very organized and as long as I continue to micromanage my schedule, I should come out alright. 

 

And here are the mini-reviews, as promised - all are for books I read for my Resources for Young Adults course: 

 

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen - I read this for an author project that I have to do (also see my review for Just Listen). I selected Sarah Dessen because I'd adored her books in high school and wanted to see how I'd feel now, five years later. Thankfully, she did not disappoint! I really enjoyed reading about Emaline's reactions to all of the changes in her life and I loved the way that this book ended. I think that by the end of the book, Emaline was definitely a stronger, more confident individual who felt more in charge of her destiny, and that's a great way to leave things at the close of a story. 4 out of 5 stars for this one. 

 

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard - This book was selected as a part of the theme "Why do we care about what others think about us?" I'd never read PLL before, but I'd been meaning to for a while. And wow, this  like the definition of a guilty pleasure book. Like, I was kind of embarrassed to admit to anyone outside of Library Land that I was reading this... but I secretly kind of loved it! All the drama just sucks the reader right in. I will say that I think that Shepard drew things out a bit more than necessary - I feel like she used a whole book to tell something that could've only taken half of a book, if that makes any sense? But this is definitely a series that I would like to continue, once my schedule goes back to normal. 4 out of 5 stars. 

 

The Battle of Jericho by Sharon Draper - Another book for the theme "Why do we care about what others think about us?" I had actually never heard of this before this past week, so for those of you who haven't read this or heard of it, basically it's about a high school with a social club that on the surface is super philanthropic but behind the scenes has a really horrible hazing culture for new members to endure. As an alumna for a sorority, this was fascinating to read. My sorority, ΣΣΣ, has a very strict anti-hazing policy (thank God!) so I was never hazed. At the time, I have to admit, the policy seemed a bit over the top - we weren't even allowed to do scavenger hunts with our new members because they were deemed "too dangerous." After reading this and seeing how something that seems like a harmless little tradition can get horribly out of hand, I can see why our national headquarters is so cautious! While this book definitely got me thinking, I was kind of bored while reading it. The dialogue didn't feel real to me and I also felt that this one was longer than necessary. But it definitely had a fantastic message to deliver! 3 out of 5 stars. 

 

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen - THIS BOOK. Omg. <3333 Okay, so this was part of my Sarah Dessen Author Project, and it's my first 5 star read of 2015! Which, honestly, isn't super fair because I read this SO MANY TIMES in high school and so I knew going in how much I'd adore it, but still. So many feelings for this book! I think it's just beautifully told, and the characters are wonderful - Owen Armstrong will forever be one of my top literary crushes, because he is just that fantastic, and Annabelle totally deserves his awesomeness. So yeah. This is hardcore chick lit and every time I read it, I turn right back into my swooning sixteen year old self. And that's exactly what should happen. 5 out of 5 stars. 

 

Hope everything's going well with all of you! Let me know if you've read any of these books and, if you have, how you liked them - do you agree with my opinions? Have a great week! 

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text 2014-07-20 12:22
Mini Reviews: White Witch, Black Curse & Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison

Mini Reviews: White Witch, Black Curse & Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
White Witch, Black Curse
Series: The Hollows #7
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published on: February 24 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: 516 pages, eBook
Provided by: Purchased
four-starsfour-starsfour-starsfour-stars
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New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to the sinister and seductive Hollows for the newest blockcuster adventure featuring Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter.

White Witch, Black Curse


Some wounds take time to heal...and some scars never fade.

Rachel Morgand, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won't rest until his death is solved...and avenged. Whatever the cost.

Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderland food chain, Rachel's past comes back to haunt her.

Literally.

CantStopkickassBadBoyFreakyFangtastic

White Witch, Black Curse introduces us to a new type of Inderlander—the banshee. Well, introduces us directly. Mia (the banshee) shows up in a couple of the novellas, but in the seventh installment of The Hollows, she is front and center. And not in a good way.

 

Harrison’s version of a banshee is more like a succubus or a psychic vampire. They’re seen before a person dies, not b/c they’re a herald of death, but b/c they’re doing the killing. By sucking the life force, or aura, from a person, and after that’s gone, the soul. They’re dangerous, apex predators, and their ability to feed is strictly monitored by the Inderlander community and strictly policed by other banshees.

 

Or at least that’s the claim. Personally, I don’t think the book backed up that idea. I.S. (Inderlander Security) didn’t do a damn thing to stop Mia’s rampage, and as far as I could tell, the only reason another banshee got involved was b/c she wanted Mia’s child (Holly). If there had been no Holly, I’m not convinced they would have gotten involved at all.

 

Banshee shenanigans aside, LOTS more Big Things are going on.<——it’s kind of a trend at this point, yes?

 

Ford (the maybe human empath) discovers that there’s a ghost in the church, and Rachel figures out that she can see the ghost, if they’re both standing in a ley line at the same time.

 

Pretty cool, right?

 

Until Al shows up and snatches the ghost. Demons apparently have ways of getting a new body for a ghost, and this isn’t just any ghost, no, it’s the ghost of Gordian Nathaniel Pierce, aspiring killer of demons. Al’s pretty sure he can make quite a bit of money selling Pierce as a familiar.

 

Which, of course, makes Rachel lose her mind. Underdog and all that.

 

Oh. And Rachel gets SHUNNED. I’m not sure why. At first I thought it was all of the very public confrontations with demons, but now I think it’s b/c of something else that doesn’t become an issue until the next book, so not telling.

 

And finally, in the showdown with Mia, Rachel remembers what happened thatnightwedonotspeakof. When she remembers, Rachel loses her mind again, and as a result something happens with her and Ivy and their auras that I’m pretty sure is going to turn out to be HUGELY important in the final book.

 

AND that, my friends, is why I reread these long-running series before the last book comes out. There’s still time. You’ve got six weeks. Just sayin’ . . . *wink*

 

Was this review helpful to you? If so, please consider voting for it on Amazon!

 

Mini Reviews: White Witch, Black Curse & Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
Black Magic Sanction
Series: The Hollows #8
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published on: February 23 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: 594 pages, eBook
Provided by: Purchased

four-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-stars

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In New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison’s most complex and nuanced adventure yet, bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan fights a deadly battle – mind, body, and soul.

Black Magic Sanction

Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter – and lived to tell the tale. But she’s never faced off against her own kind…until now. Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment – at worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery. Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom, but trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and an ex-boyfriend turned thief.

It takes a witch to catch a witch, but survival bears a heavy price..

kickasstearFreaky

So check this out.

 

Rachel and Ivy are minding their own business, doing a bit of grocery shopping, when this blonde chick in a frumpy suit starts making eyes at Rachel.

 

Or so she thinks.

 

And Rachel’s a little bit embarrassed, a little bit flattered, but not even a little bit interested . . . so that’s AWK-ward.

 

Except Frumpy isn’t checking Rachel out! Frumpy is a member of the coven of moral and ethical standards, and she’s trying to take Rachel into custody.

 

Pfft. Like that’s going to happen. But the attempt does make quite a mess (one word—PRODUCE). And wait a minute, what’s going on? Yeah, Rachel’s been shunned, but there’s a world of difference between shunning a witch and actively pursuing her.

 

I smell a rat . . . (<——did you see what I did there? *snickers*)

 

A couple of books ago, Rachel very sneakily stole Al’s summoning name so he couldn’t be called out of the Ever After and let loose on her or her loved ones. They’ve since resolved their issues . . . *snorts* mostly . . . but Rachel still has his name.

 

And that is how we find out not only can Rachel’s blood kindle demon magic, but she can also be summoned like a demon, and my, doesn’t that complicate things.

 

Especially when the previously thwarted coven of moral and ethical standards becomes privy to this information, using it to, yes, summon Rachel.

 

Which puts her in a bit of a JAM. (<——I did it AGAIN). B/c strawberries . . . in the grocery store . . . never mind. *sighs*

 

It also makes her angry.

 

It makes me angry too, b/c guess who summoned Rachel for the straight-laced coven (whose members would rather DIE than have a bit of smut on their auras)? Go on . . . guess . . . I’ll give you hint—his name has four letters, and is also slang for stealing, which is ironic, b/c that’s what he does.

 

YEP. Nick just can’t stay gone. Which is unfortunate, b/c I HATE HIM. *takes a calming breath*

 

Black Magic Sanction is my favorite book in the series up to this point. Al and Rachel grow in their new roles as teacher and student, and Rachel finally shows some caution on the romance front. Trent is consistently NOT evil, and even shows that he values Rachel as a person. (<——YES!!) And Rachel finally starts to accept what she is, understanding that it’s who she is that matters. LOVE it. Love it ALL.

 

The Hollows:

 

 

Was this review helpful to you? If so, please consider voting for it on Amazon!

 

Jessica Signature

Source: rabidreads.ca/2014/07/mini-reviews-white-witch-black-curse-black-magic-sanction-by-kim-harrison.html
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url 2013-06-04 15:06
May Mini-Review Recap!

Check out all the books I read in May, with teeny-tiny flash reviews for each one.

 

It was a good month :)

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review 2013-05-17 00:00
Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires Series #6)
Carpe Corpus - Rachel Caine

This will be a mini-review because I have no idea what to write in the first place. So get ready for some good rambling.

Carpe Corpus, or as my good friend Google likes to call it, “seize the body” (weird, huh?) is a fancy schmancy way of playing with the old “Carpe Diem” (seize the day) gig as an analogy to Bishop being a bitch and Claire and Shane having some business time. Thank you morganvilletexas.com for that one.

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