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review 2018-01-17 00:39
MY RATING~ 4.5/5 STARS - GRADE=A-
The Dead List - Jennifer L. Armentrout

 

 

~MY THOUGHTS~

 

I recently read an arc with a similar story to this…Pretty Dead Girls…I didn't really like that one, and this had a similar feel to it in the beginning, minus the mean girls.  I was worried but it wasn't long before I realized this was different in a lot of ways.  This only had me eye-rolling a couple moments and the other had me constantly eye-rolling.  In this, the mystery surprised me, actually.  The characters were likable…and the best part…when the MC is being chased down by the bad guy, she actually does the smart thing, at least 80% of the time.  My issue and this could be a tad spoiler-ish, is with the promiscuity of 17-year-olds. I can't read explicit sex scenes when the MC's are under 18.  It's just weird.  If she had just left that out of the book, it would have been a 5-star all the way.

 

 

 

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5 could have used a proofreader…

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 5/5  Cliffhanger~  Nope.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~  Compelling, and it kept me guessing as to how it fits with the story

Setting~ Martinsburg, West Virginia

Source~ Kobo eBook

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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review 2018-01-14 19:38
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson,Judith Gwyn Brown

I know for a fact I read this book in elementary school, but I didn't remember anything about it. It turns out The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is about how the Herdmans, a gang of ill-bred ruffian poor children, hijack the Christmas play at Church because they thought there would be food, and they end up teaching everyone in town the lesson that.....they have feelings? I think that's it. It was marvelous.

The narrative, from the perspective of the daughter of the woman who ends up having to direct the pageant, is deadpan and with the humor mostly being carried by the dialogue between her parents and a lengthy segment where the hard-bitten urchins are disgusted by the treatment Mary and Joseph receive in Bethlehem and the poor quality of gifts offered by the wise men.

The humor is great, but there is a core of genuine sympathy in the book. Robinson cleverly cuts through all of the 'expected' traditions and finds a way to express the, yes I'm going to say it, the true meaning of Christmas. There isn't much resolution, but it does raise many questions, which can be a good thing when one enters into the dicey territory of Christmas fodder. This is a quick read for Christmas day and can be supplemented by the 1983 television special.

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review 2018-01-14 03:39
Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones
The Islands of Chaldea - Diana Wynne Jones,Ursula Jones

Aileen is a young girl and comes from a magical bloodline. It is her destiny to follow her aunt and late mother as a Wise Woman of the Islands of Chaldea. There are four islands to the world, three of them cut off from the largest because of a spell cast a little over a decade before. The feel is generally Celt-ish.

There are shortages of certain goods and some political turmoil because of the division of the islands, but Aileen's biggest worry is that her magic has not revealed itself yet. She is apprenticed to her aunt but she worries she may never be a capable leader.  The worries are pushed aside when she finds herself, her aunt, a handsome prince, and an orphan are sent out on a quest to end the division of the islands.

Diana Wynne Jones was a fantastic author and Islands of Chaldea has many elements of her successful stories. We'll never know what the final novel would have looked like, but this was a fun diversion. I'm glad to have read it, but it doesn't stand out of the pack of her other, finer, work.

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review 2018-01-13 23:50
4.7/5 STARS - GRADE=A (Upgraded to 5/5)
Out of the Easy - Ruta Sepetys

~MY THOUGHTS~

 

Out of the Easy is my 555th read on Goodreads, so in honor of that, I upped my 4.7-star rating to a full 5 stars…because my 555th read needs a 5-star rating. 

 

Ruta Sepetys writes such vivid, compelling characters that just reel you in.  Josie is no exception, nor are any of the other characters, even the skeevy ones.  Along with Lauren Fortgang's narration, the time period and the atmosphere is captured perfectly in Out of the Easy.

 

 

 

 

 

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.3/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ No

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ It's Doable…this one is better than the one with the yellow shirt.

Narration~ Very Good by Lauren Fortgang

Setting~ New Orleans 1950

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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review 2018-01-13 03:27
The world of "Pacifica" is reason enough to indulge in this series.
Shattered Minds - Laura Lam

 

 

 

Book Title:  Shattered Minds

Author:  Laura Lam

Series:  Pacifica #2

Genre:  Science Fiction | Thriller

Setting:  A Futuristic Los Angeles, CA (Pacifica)

Source:  Kindle eBook (Library)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  4.3/5

Main Characters:  4/5

Secondary Characters:  4.2/5

The Feels:  4/5

Pacing:  4/5

Addictiveness:  4.2/5

Theme or Tone:  4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style): 3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4.7/5

Originality:  4.5/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Ending:  4.3/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope, but

Steam Factor 0-5:  3

Total: 4.2/5 STARS - GRADE=B+

 

 

 

The world of Shattered Minds and False Hearts is Pacifica. This place is a fantastically imaginative futuristic world, I found it easily imagined and was engulfed in its seedy underbelly, it is a drug-induced, dream-freaky hell-of-a-ride.  

 

While still an interesting read, sadly, I didn't like this quite as much as the first book, False Hearts.  I think because I listened to that on Audio, as opposed to reading this, it was off-putting to me because it lacked a proofreader (I could totally do this, btw).  I'm thinking, maybe I didn't notice the errors in the prior book because someone read it to me (a fan-freakin-tastic narrator…January Lavoy).  I also felt it lacked character development.  I didn't really like Carina all that much.

 

If I've peaked your interest you should see Laura Lam's "Review" for Shattered Minds It's like her own synopsis for this book and it's filled with some really cool images, including this one...

 

Will I continue this series?⇜  If she writes more, than...yeah.  This world is so intriguing, after all.  I would prefer audiobooks, though…

 

 

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