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review 2019-03-10 23:08
Je t'aime
A Year in Paris: Season by Season in the City of Light - John Baxter

Non-fiction book for Feb 2019 My Book Box.

If anyone writes more beautifully about Paris than John Baxter, I’ve yet to read them.
This book is supposedly about Paris throughout the year. It loosely follows this (there are some jumps in season, time, and place) as well as a brief history of the Revolution’s desire to change the calenderer.

It is best to think of this book as part memoir of seasons of his life in Paris, as well as seasons of Paris. Each chapter is like a meditation.

There are interesting little factoids that pop up. Like France’s obsession with sanitation. Or how names use to be chosen for French children. There is a wonderful bit about April, Paris, and music. There are observations like, “More so in France than anywhere else in the world, political survival turns on a gesture” (207).

There are parts of the book that are somewhat, well strange. It’s not the comparison between Baxter’s Australia or California. Those parts are interesting. It’s just sometimes, it almost feels like he is oversharing. There is a bit too much about his sexual relationships. Don’t get me wrong, the details aren’t overly graphic, and the first relationship is actually beautifully described. However, he does seem to think of Paris, in part, as terms of women he has relationships with. (Most importantly, it should be fairly noted, his wife and daughter. He dedicates the book to both, and they do seem to be the loves of his life. The two non-marriage relationships occur prior to the marriage). So, we also get details about his relationship with a German woman. There also is a weird bit about an Aussie’s man’s junk. Which comes out of left field. I’m not really sure why that was there.

Still, it is a beautiful book about Paris. You should read it.

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review 2019-03-09 17:05
Review ~ The End?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 12, Vol One The Reckoning - Christos Gage,Joss Whedon

Book source ~ Library

 

Buffy and gang have been living their life in the wake of the last big near-apocalypse. Magical creatures are laying low and life is quiet. Buffy and Spike have broken up, Dawn and Xander are married with a baby and living in the burbs of San Fran, Giles is his old self again, and Willow is teaching women how to empower themselves. But something big is coming. Bigger than anything they’ve ever faced before. And they’ll need everyone on board to stop it.

 

This graphic novel says Volume One, but it feels an awful like The End to me. I know I read that Joss Whedon and Dark Horse were parting ways after Season 12, but I’m not sure if there will be a Volume Two to this one. Maybe?

 

I’m really not happy with the fast forward. What the fuck? So many changes and no explanations. Then Angel and Illyria show up and I find out they are lovers? Again, I say wtf?! Where is all this coming from? Apparently the Angel and other comics have some major shit going on that I missed.

 

What I like about this last gasp: The humor, the appearance of some major characters, the fight scenes.

 

What I don’t like: the fast forward, the huge changes dumped on me with no explanation, a lot of the artwork is just…off. There were many times I couldn’t tell who was who in this. Ugh.

 

I really get the feeling this is it – the end. So, good-bye, my friends. I’ll miss you.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2019/03/btvs-season-12-vol-1-reckoning.html
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text 2019-03-08 14:38
Reading progress update: I've read 115 out of 500 pages.
The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin

I'm turning very soft in my old age. Some of the incidents in this book are really making me uncomfortable. The abuse, the racism... it's always bothered me in general, but never to the point where I've had to put a book down for a little while before continuing.  And it's not encouraged or sensational.  I guess given the current climate in my country--in the world--it's hitting a little too close to home. 

 

Besides that, the story is highly interesting!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-03-08 07:51
Unbroken by Rachel Caine — A Great End to a Good Series
Unbroken - Rachel Caine

 

When certain series come to an end, they leave their readers unsatisfied or even disappointed. I feared it would be so with this one for several reasons. One, these books are actually a spin-off of the Weather Wardens series. I loved reading about Jo’s adventures and constantly going up against foes way bigger than she was and coming out bruised and beaten but a victor. Would I even like someone else playing the main part within the same universe? I hated her at first just as I was meant to. She was cold and inhuman. But good things or rather very bad things happened to her to change that.

Except for her love interest, David, we are taught to fear the Djinns in the prequel series. That brings me to the next reason for my misgivings: the protagonist in this one used to be a Djinn but was punished by the head honcho of Djinns when he turned her into a human before exiling her. But, the author takes three books to humanize the heroine’s character. It felt totally practical. 

Thirdly, I would again have to say goodbye to the world of Weather Wardens when this series ended. And I did, but I also felt a sense of completion. So, that’s good!

About the last book itself, Ms. Caine doesn’t play shy when it comes to tragedies changing people forever. One of the main characters in this one was a little kid who was kidnapped and tortured by a power-hungry megalomaniac Djinn. When she is returned to her family, she isn’t shown to magically recover from all that has befallen her. She remains on the brink of becoming an unfeeling creature and her family keeps doing their best to bring her back. I liked the authenticity in that.

Finally, the ending was too and they lived happily ever after for me. While I wanted the characters to be happy, I didn’t want it to be so perfect. But mostly, the journey was a positive one. Can’t wait to see what Ms. Caine does next!

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review 2019-02-19 13:47
A Strong 3.5 Star Book
'Tis The Season to Be Single - Laura Ziepe

This is a very strong 3.5 star book. It could have been higher if one of the story-lines (Grace's) had been a bit tighter and actually full of tension. Most of her story-line was self-inflicted and I thought her hiding what she was up to was beyond ridiculous. I really loved Amber and Rachel's storyline. I always get a kick out of romance novels set during holiday events so this one was a nice pick me up due to the winter blues that I have going right now.

 

"Tis the Season to Be Single" is about three women (Rachel, Grace, and Amber) going through singledom during the Christmas and New Year. 

Rachel expects her long term boyfriend Mark to finally propose. Too bad she finds out he wants to break up with her and also is seeing her best friend.

 

Grace is tired of her husband Simon ignoring all that she does for him (cooking, cleaning, etc.) and is starting to realize that the romance in their marriage has gone. She finally decides to tell him she wants to be separated while she thinks about what to do next. 

 

Amber is a commitment-phobe. After having her father leave her and her mother when she was younger, Amber would rather meet a hot guy and immediately set him free again. Things change though when Amber comes back from holiday to find out her childhood best friend Jack is now engaged. Amber is starting to realize that maybe what she feels towards Jack isn't sisterly love at all, but something more. Once all three women realize that they are now single, Amber pushes them to embrace the single life with a pact to stay single and be each other's dates for their company's annual holiday party. 

 

Rachel's story leads things off and starts the book off strong. I felt for her and wanted to smack her boyfriend and her so-called friend. I think that  Ziepe does a good job of showcasing how one-sided her relationship and friendship really was. And I did love the fact that Rachel wasn't a doormat just waiting to be walked on again by her so-called friend. I do wish though that Rachel had realized that being single was more than okay. We get to see her do just two dates in this one and I wanted more of her having funny dates or out there dates with men. 

 

Amber's story was very good too. There is a sub-plot about her father that actually kind of worked in the overall story. Amber realizing that she is in love with Jack was nice to read about. And I loved that she didn't try to do anything to wreck his relationship. I hate young adult or new adult books that show two people emotionally cheating or one of the main characters trying to do their best to wedge in between the two people who are dating. Ziepe does a good job of showing Jack's picture perfect fiancee and how initially Amber couldn't find fault with her.

 

Grace's story annoyed me for some reason. I think it's because she acknowledges things in their marriage got hard when they tried for a baby and failed and doesn't see that maybe that's what is going on underneath things. I also am never on the side of passive aggressive characters which is what it sounded like Grace was at times. I do wish that Ziepe had shown her family's reaction more to her being separated from Simon. That didn't ring true to me at all that she would just be moving in Rachel and not a peep from her sister or other relatives about it.

 

I did love that all three women worked together which allows them to be in more scenes together. Also all of them do make-up and we get to read about how Grace does extra work at weddings. I was pretty curious about what the other two women did too. Amber seems to be a I will do this job until I get bored person. 

 

The writing was good though I wish the book was longer. Ziepe could have added even more character development to this book by including in characters that are spoken of and never seen such as Grace's family. We get lots of Rachel and Amber's family and other important people in their lives. Grace seems to only have Rachel, Amber, and her estranged husband. Also as I said above, it would have been nice to see Rachel go on even more dates before her HEA that came. 

 

The flow was good and Ziepe manages to balances all of the stories. I just felt somewhat bored by Grace's after it becomes apparent where Ziepe is going with it.

 

The ending was very sweet and I liked that all three women got what they needed and all got a HEA. 

 

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