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review 2020-10-11 23:19
Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault
Virginia Wolf - Isabelle Arsenault,Kyo Maclear

I adore this short picture book! The artwork, characters, and story is charming. The relationship between the two sisters is absolutely adorable. You can tell they care for one another and want to be there for each other when life gets hard. I love how this book encouraged kids to dive into their imagination if ever they feel depressed because they may find the happiness they are seeking. As someone who constantly daydreams of one day going to a place not of this realm, I related to Virginia so much. I, too, dream of my own perfect world. And if we continue to search for it, through art or writing or any other creative outlets, we may one day find our Home.

 

This book is absolutely beautiful. I encourage you to pick it up! It's short but has a lovely message and beautiful artwork to go with it! Anyone can pick up this picture book and find enjoyment in it. May also encourage you look explore your imagination again in case you've been focusing too much on Reality. It's a great book!

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review 2020-10-06 02:48
Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning (The Guardians, #5) by William Joyce
Guardians Chapter Book #5 - William Joyce

I've been reading this series for a long time now. I began reading this series earlier this year with the intent to read each book back to back to get the full picture of what William Joyce wanted to tell the reader. I started well with my reading adventure, reading all the picture books and the first four books in the series in a timely manner. Then 2020 happened and slapped everyone in the face including myself. I'm not going to lie, guys. It's been hard. Extremely hard. With the pandemic, the civil injustices happening in my country, wildfires raging madly on the West coast, and personal issues happening throughout, I have not had the time nor the mental fortitude to dedicate to reading. My health (physical, mental, and emotional) has not been doing well either. I just feel like I've been all over the place as of late. With that being said, I am hoping things are settling enough that I can get back into reading. Still being mindful and aware we are not out of the woods yet (nor will we be any time soon), but also capable of treating myself right and enjoy a good book from time to time. I'm still mentally clogged with everything going on, but I want to try to get back into the hobbies I love and miss doing this year.

 

And with that, I bring to you my review of Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning.

 

I really liked this book. It's not my favorite book in the series, but I did enjoy it for what it was. I don't intend to go into too many details with this review since it's the final book in the series but I did want to talk about a few things that won't spoil the plot.

 

It's a very good book. And the conclusion, though not really what I was hoping for, was not bad in any way. However, I had a few problems with it as I was reading it. The first thing that bugged me was the pacing. Joyce wrote this book after the movie came out and it shows. Which is a bit of a bummer for since his original story was magnificent. In this book he tried to tie in the movie and book universes too much and it did not blend well. It felt disjointed at times and forced. The pacing suffered because of this as well. The beginning was very slow. VERY SLOW. He kept rehashing certain scenes from the previous books and also diving deep into moments that took placed in the past and not during the actual story being told. A lot of the story was told in "flashback" moments which took the reader out of the current plot. It felt messy and rushed in some areas and it dragged in others.

 

The characters are still loveable and unique. But they definitely took a backseat in this book. Joyce focused more on action and "plot" but he completely forgot about what a lot of readers picked up these books for in the first place and that was to see these amazing characters interact in this whimsical world he created. When those parts appeared in this book, it was incredible just like it was in the precious books. But they were few and far between. Most of the scenes in this book was one battle after the other. That's it. I wanted to see more of the relationships between all of the characters,

 

I especially feel Pitch was left as an afterthought, almost. Yes, he's a lingering presence throughout the whole book, but he doesn't actually make an appearance until the end of the book, if you're not including the flashback portion. It was very underwhelming seeing what happens at the end. I was hoping for more interaction, more feeling. It was like (and I'm keeping it vague here on purpose) Jack does a thing, Emily Jane says thanks, and that's it! I wanted Jack and Pitch to have a full on conversation! To come to the realization that they are not so different after all. To say thanks or sorry or something! But we didn't get much of anything and it felt very hollow.

 

The ending... I'm not a huge fan of. It was an ending that would have meant something if we were introduced to certain elements beforehand. Not almost 250 pages into the book. It felt, like most of this books, rather empty and pointless.

 

That's not to say this book is bad. It's not. I did like it. I was just expecting to see more of the characters I fell in love with interacting with one another and understanding one another. Instead I got a bunch of action with no real substance.

 

If you've read the other books in this series, I do recommend you read this one. It's good to see the conclusion to this amazing series. Just don't expect too much going in and you may enjoy this a lot more.

 

I'm glad that despite everything that's been happening in the world, I was still able to finish this series that I have been meaning to read for quite some time now. I don't know what I'll be reading next but I hope that I will continue to read regardless.

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review 2020-06-27 23:54
NIGHTBLOOD by T. Chris Martindale
Nightblood - T. Chris Martindale

3.5/5 stars!

 

This was total 80's, cheesy, horror fun. Uzis and vampires in a small town. There's so many horror tropes involved I don't know where to begin, so I think I'll just leave it at that.

 

My complaints mostly focus on the fact that the book is a bit too long. If you don't take things too seriously, and you enjoy that fun, silly Rambo-like type of horror, than this is for you!

 

 

Recommended!

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review 2020-06-25 21:37
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
The Only Good Indians - Stephen Graham Jones

I kept hearing whispers about this book. People were SO excited and wanted it so badly and those whispers stuck in my head but I hadn’t read the author and I REFUSED to visit Netgalley because I have absolutely zero willpower when it comes to their offerings. But then a few super early reviews came in and naturally I had a weak moment and hit up NetGalley and I am not at all sorry. Well, perhaps a wee bit because there was some animal stuff in here that was hard to read (prepare thyself) but trust me when I say this book is an experience that has the power to take your damn breath away. I don’t say that about a lot of books, hardly any at all actually, but this one managed to do it several times.

It’s about a horrifically bleak and terrible dark deed done by a few over-zealous young punks on a part of the reservation that did not belong to them. This memory will follow and haunt them (as well it should if you ask me). This book is painful to read but truly hard to put down at the same time. Whenever I had to put it aside to return to reality it lingered at the edges of my brain.

“When the whole world hurts, you bite it, don’t you?”

I struggled with this review. I kept starting it and stopping it fearing I’d never be able to do any kind of justice to it without spoiling the hell out of it and I am not going to do that. This book shocked me even though I was warned that it was going to do just that. I figured, “Nah it’s not going to get ME” but I was wrong. The writing is engaging and harrowing, the characters flawed and hard to look away from and it’s simply a beautifully tragic masterpiece of horror on so many levels with anguish so strong you can feel it stain your soul. Read it if you want your heart ripped out of your chest, chewed up, spit out, rubbed in the bloody dirt, and then super glued back together with your tears.

Brilliantly breath-stealing. Just go read it if this is at all something that you think you’re into. I'm giving this one a rare five star because it is deserving and this book is the reason why I am so miserly with my five stars!

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review 2020-06-15 01:41
Sometimes it's the little things that fuel our imagination...
Just Like That (Albin Academy #1) - Cole McCade

I admit this is purely conjecture on my part, but I'm going to run with it. Cole McCade is by no means a new to me author...what is new to me is reading a story by this author that is set in the world of Malcolm Khalaji and Soeng-Jae Yoon. Ironically it is also the place where I first crossed paths with the name Summer Hemlock and having said that rest assured those who have not read the Criminal Intentions series will have no problem with reading this story. The connection between that series and this story is minuscule at best...the mention of a name that's it...just a name Summer Hemlock. But I'd like to think that this name grabbed the author's attention and wouldn't let go until he agreed to write a story where Summer Hemlock got to be a real boy and have his own happily ever after.

 

"Just Like That" is a story of going home, second chances, finding love, starting over and learning to forgive yourself.

 

Summer Hemlock is returning to his hometown of Omen, Massachusetts to begin a new job at Albin Academy and be closer to his aging mother. The fact that Fox Iseya, his teenage crush is still teaching there is merely a happy bonus of this. 

 

Fox has spent years hiding behind a wall of grief after losing his wife. He's held everyone at a distance and now with the arrival of Summer, he'll begin to make his break from his responsibilities at Albin so he can move on. 

 

As Summer's teaching residency begins in preparation for him to take over Fox's position after he retires. Summer finds himself growing bolder as he gives in to his feelings for Fox and begins a relationship that forces Summer to find the confidence that he's going to need if he hopes to get past the walls that Fox has built around himself during his years of grief. 

 

While the relationship between Fox and Summer is rife with attraction between the age difference and the precariousness of Fox being Summer's mentor it's going to take some maneuvering on both of their parts to find the middle ground that they can be comfortable on. 

 

My one and only niggle with this story was the ending. For me it felt just a bit abrupt and I honestly felt that it there'd been just a bit more story post HEA this one would have been 5 stars and then some, so instead I'm going with 4.5 stars and I can't wait for the next installment in this series.

 

I became a fan of this author nearly two years ago when I first read episode one of his series 'Criminal Intentions' and I have to say in spite of the fact that it's the same author comparing this story to that series is like comparing apples to oranges and just shouldn't happen beyond that in either case the writing is compelling and the stories are intriguing. I was both surprised and delighted with just how different 'Just Like That' is from the author's previous works that I've read.

 

'Just Like That' is a sweet story that drew me in with ease and gave me characters that I won a place in my heart. The heart of this story is love...not just for someone else but it's about two men learning that in order to love each other they need to love and forgive themselves as well.

 

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A copy of "Just Like That" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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