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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-08 09:45
The Muse Review

The Muse is the story of Vidal Balagueris a struggling artist, who  is in mass amounts of debt to various people and as the story is being told under investigation for the murder of the woman who served as his muse for one of his popular pieces.  I am not the biggest fan of books related to art in general but I can still appreciate them. I know for a fact there had to be various art references interwoven into this that went over my head, though, I do like the few that I was able to understand. I love how the artist uses color to convey meaning and emotion and how the line of reality and imagination is crossed at times.


 At times I was not the biggest fan of the art style, though am not exactly why, but I understand that is more a personal preference . Overall though I really enjoyed it and since art style is a major deal breaker for me when it comes to graphic novels , the art for this was really well done.As to the actual story,there are layers of mystery and a bleeding of what is real and what is just whimsical story telling. There are heavy themes borrowed from The Picture of Dorian Grey bleeding through. For me that is a good thing since I love any sort of media that references that in some way even if at times it can come off as cliched at this point . Felt overall that this graphic novel put good spin on it. I really enjoyed the way the muse written in this work. She is both something to be adored and marveled at and at times feared as well because of the power she holds. Like so many muses , she is both inspiration and obsession and think this work walks a fine line of showing both those paths.


The best part of this graphic novel would have to be the ending more so because it can be taken in a few  different ways . Personally I am big on open endings or endings that can be taken in more than one.way. I like that by the end there lots of questions that there are really no easy answers to. If taken one way can be like it was a wonderful case of  magical realism.Toward the end it is revealed that maybe the main character can make different objects and people disappear by painting them , though a clear cut of when this "power" started is not really given since he artist himself has clear cases of things he painted that are still around. If you take away these elements and take the story at face value it is a sad road of a man in debt who was obsessed with his muse . Maybe the real explanation is that  both the magical and mundane are the answers.The the graphic novel  provides evidence for both  possible outcomes.On one hand something sad and morbid and another ending that is more  happy and hopeful. Either way it was nice to see. Overall think this was really well done. The art was beautiful and eye-catching, even if it was not always to my personal taste and  the story was interesting and fun to read.


*I downloaded a free copy in exchange for a honest and fair review.

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review 2020-01-08 08:51
War and Peas Review
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War and Peas is a webcomic series drawn and written by Elizabeth Pich and Jonathan Kunz.I am probably way way late to the game since I am certain I have seen a few of the comics from this used as memes on various sites. After reading this will be sure to check it out. Keeping that in mind, I realize that since it started as a blog  that usually the author(s) will pick those comics that were the most upvoted or liked and most often these books are usually good because only the best comics are chosen. I also realize that unlike me if you have been following and keeping up with the webseries that books like this can get repetitive since you would have seen all the comics before. However with these sort of books I never feel that is really the point. If you want new content you can always check out the webcomic series for free any time you wish. Buying the book , to me at least, is more a way to support the artists/authors and basic in comics you already know you enjoy and have them in printed form. 
I liked the dark humor in all of these little comics. I never felt it went too far but the sort of morbid humor in these comics are the sort of humor I like. I could see some people feeling maybe a few went too far. Basically would say if jokes about death in any fashion are not your cup of tea then would pass on this collection. Personally felt that all the comics walked that fine line between too morbid and just morbid enough to be fun and entertaining. I also liked that that there repeating characters since it  makes it more fun. Will say there were a few of the comics that fell a bit flat but think that is a given in any selection of comics . Not all of them are going to land. Most though were again morbid and overall funny. Will for sure try to check out the blog that these are from to see what else they have to offer. My one and only complaint about this book is that felt it should have been a bit longer. Get that there is no way that they could fit every comic from a blog full of content but overall still felt it was a bit too short.That though it is a very minor compliant in a overall great , funny comic selection. I am almost positive there will be a second book depending how well this first one does.
* I downloaded a free copy of this book on netgalley in exchange for a honest review .
The book is due to be published March 3rd 2020 by Andrews McMeel Publishing. 
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review 2019-04-16 20:08
The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz
The Dark Game - Jonathan Janz

I have to admit that I had a little struggle with this book because the font on my ARC was so teeny tiny I could only read the story in 20 minute increments before my eyes started to cry and reading became an impossibility. After trying to read it this way for over two weeks I finally gave up and requested an eArc via Netgalley. Thank you Netgalley and Flame Tree Press for the arc’s! The author has confirmed that final copies will have an easier to read font so your eyeballs need not worry.


This is a story about a group of writers who are invited to join in on a game at a creepy old mansion hosted by a creepier old writer. A Dark Game, mwahaha. The winner will receive fame and fortune and all they desire and who doesn’t want that? Everything about this game and its mysterious host is weird and ultra-creepy but the prize is irresistible. The losers? Well, you do not want to lose this game and that’s all I’ll be saying about that . . .


When the story begins it tells the tale of a full cast of characters in alternating chapters and, likely because I was reading it in such short bursts, I had a difficult time keeping track of who was who and whose back story went with who and I kept mixing them all up in my head. I kept hoping a few of them would get killed off fast in order to end some of my confusion. I know, how selfish of me, but it is the truth. I don’t like straining my brain that hard after a long day of life and some of these characters were no good trashy people anyway and no great loss to humanity, if you’re asking me.


I enjoyed this book once the cast was trimmed down a bit, as I knew I would. The whole atmosphere was very well done and I enjoyed learning about the darkness hiding inside most of these characters. Reading about terrible and sordid secrets is my one of my favorite past-times and this book delivered on those. There were lots of nasty surprises to be found and watching the characters get all vicious with each other was a bit of blast!


This is a wild book that really ramps up in its last few acts. If your memory is better than mine and you can handle a large cast of characters, I bet you’re going to fall right into this deliciously evil story and not come up for breath until you finish.

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review 2018-07-13 19:06
Providence by Caroline Kepnes
Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes

Oh, this book. How on earth does one review such a unique book without ruining the experience for others? This is one of those books that you should experience going in nearly cold.

Strangely enough this book takes place in a town five minutes from my home. Me, being me, was reading every Nashua reference with a squinty eye looking for a nit to pick but I didn’t find anything to bitch about. Nashua is not a very exciting place, if you ask me, and it was fun imagining this weird stuff happening so close to me. I’m going to give any suspicious men about town even more of a wide berth after reading this, however. 

If you bought PROVIDENCE because you loved YOU and HIDDEN BODIES and you expect another crazy Joe you do need to know that this book is not at all like either of them. It starts out when the main characters are children and within pages I was so in love with their friendship and engaged with these two characters that I didn’t want to put it down (curse you real life and your constant interruptions). Kepnes managed to do in mere pages what some books cannot accomplish after hundreds of them. She made me care deeply about these two and put my feelings through the wringer. Now that’s a talent!

Jon and Chloe just click. They would’ve, could’ve, should’ve been that rare couple who fall in love, marry young and stay together through good times and bad because they were meant to be. But that doesn’t happen because who wants to read that book?! Something unexpected happens to one of the kids and it changes them forever. Waking up with vague memories and a copy of The Dunwich Horror by Lovecraft with a strange letter tucked inside, the parents, best friend and the family soon learn that something has forever changed with this kid. I’m not going to tell you what it is or even which kid it is because you need to experience that gut punch yourownselves. I’ll just leave you guessing with this quote.

"I’m starting to get paranoid, starting to think something’s wrong with me… I imagine myself the invisible monster, slaughtering them all."

The remainder of the book features these two kids grown and struggling to connect, longing for each other but unable (for reasons I’m still not divulging) to be together properly. Their story is absolutely wrenching to witness. There is also another character named Eggs who makes it his mission to crack a case involving suspicious deaths of young people. Eggs and his story was also filled with pain and heartbreak and tore me all up inside. Geez, this book. I’m going to spoil it if I keep blathering on. Just read it if you want and I hope you love it as much as I did.

My favorite quote is this one because it’s so damned accurate for me and most everyone I know that I actually laughed out loud like a genuine lunatic. 

"Why are you so dressed up? That should be the state fucking slogan of New Hampshire. "


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review 2018-06-25 17:14
The Girl Friend by Michelle Frances
The Girlfriend - Michelle Francis

This book promises a “gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller”. It is gripping but it isn’t any of the other things. If you know that going in and you love reading about horrible people as much as I do, you’ll likely enjoy it much more. I requested it so long ago that I didn’t remember a thing about the blurb until I just went back and read it now and I’m glad of that!


Laura’s life is one of wealth and privilege but her marriage is devoid of warmth and love. She’s focused all of her love on her grown son Daniel. He loves his mom and seems to be a decent son, despite her smothering, but when a new girlfriend enters the picture Laura quickly decides that Cherry is nothing but a pretty, little gold-digger and she does not like her.


The first half or so of this book is an intense character study of Cherry and Laura. We get to know them, their motives, their desires, their vicious inner thoughts and their incredible flaws. You can see a true mess in the making and it so much fun to read. As things progress, you realize just how far these two women will go to have things go their way. They are both deviously awful humans. One is smothering, selfish, mean-spirited, and more than a little evil. The other is shallow, materialistic, vindictive, and totally evil. Horrid, terrible people and I loved reading about them.


Even though there are really no true surprises here and not a lot happens in the first half, the book is incredibly infectious. Once I started reading I just had to keep going to find out what nasty thing was going to be said and done next. When a whopper of a lie is told by one of the women, the book spirals into a pit of doom from that point thereafter and I read it straight through until the end.


I received a copy of this book from Netgalley but it was only the first 13 chapters. Why would they do that to anyone?! I ended up getting my copy from my local library but had to wait a few months before my number was called.

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