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review 2018-09-19 22:52
Picking the right narrator makes all the difference...
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

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~BOOK BLURB~

Anna Dressed in Blood

Kendare Blake

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Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

 

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

 

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

 

Yet she spares Cas's life.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Plot-wise this has all the right elements, Anna is a fairly kick-ass ghost and despite how terrifying she is, you still end up liking her.  Especially after you hear the story of how she died.  Nevertheless, I still felt that it was missing something…maybe it's just me…or maybe it was due to the narrator.  When he did other peoples voices he was not so bad, but when he did the voice of Cas the MC, (which was his normal voice) he delivered his lines with very little emotion and it left me feeling disconnected from the story most of the time.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.7STARS - GRADE=B

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Characters~ 3.8/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.7/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ It's quite striking…

Narration~ 2 for August Ross

Series~ Anna #1

Setting~ Thunder Bay, Ontario

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for Ghost Stories Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-09-15 21:17
Well, at least I got my Southern Gothic Square checked off by forcing myself through this.
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls - Clara Emily Carpenter

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~BOOK BLURB~

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Emily Carpenter

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Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Ugh!  I tried to get into this, but I just couldn't.  I read a couple other books by this Author and really liked them.  So, what gives?  First and foremost we learn early on, that all the women in her family going back a few generations have suddenly become schizophrenic on their 30th birthday.  I really couldn't buy into this scenario, and it pretty much made it impossible for me to like the rest of the story.  This could also be why I didn't connect with the characters, no matter how hard I tried.  All of them came off as pretty unlikable, and I couldn't care less about their fates.  Lastly, I can't stress enough how important it is to have a different narrator for each characters POV, because I couldn't distinguish between Althea and Jinn's characters, and I was left confused most of the time.

 

Overall, a lackluster mystery for me with an equally lackluster ending.  But I might be in the minority with these feelings...there are lots of great reviews for this, after all.

 

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~MY RATING~

2STARS - GRADE=D

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 1.5/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 2/5

Theme or Tone~ 2/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Ending~ 2/5

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Book Cover~ Meh…it's underwhelming for sure.

Narration~ ☆3 for Kate Orsini…she was okay, but she should have used a different variation of her voice for each of the MC's.

Setting~ Alabama

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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I used this for Southern Gothic Square in Halloween Bingo

 

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text 2018-09-06 21:36
Click, Clash, Splish, Splash
Click, Clack, Splish, Splash - Doreen Cronin,Betsy Lewin

Click, Clack, Splish, Splash is such a fun read for children! It’s a short story about animals preparing for a fishing trip. I can definitely use this book for teaching counting and  numbers! I can go through each page with the students and count how many animals there are so that I can connect the specific number with the animals!

 

 

4 stars

Lexile AD300L

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review 2018-08-29 23:18
4.5 OUT OF 5 "VR ENHANCED" STARS
Warcross - Marie Lu

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~BOOK BLURB~

Warcross

Marie Lu

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For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

 

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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With tones that reminded me of Ready Player One, Warcross is a stellar first book in a promising new series.  It takes place mostly in a virtual world, hence the reminders of the Ernest Clines book.  But that ends with that one similarity and Warcross becomes it's very own unique story that is unlike any other books in this genre. 

 

Overall, an unpredictable and action-packed book with likable characters, there is a definite romance going on throughout and I should warn you it does end on a cliffhanger with some wtf twists at the very end.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4.2/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.2/5

Originality~ 4.3/5

Ending~ 4.7/5 Cliffhanger~ Yeah…pretty much.

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Book Cover~ Meh…

Narration~ 4.5 for Nancy Wu, she was really good, actually.

Series~ Warcross #1

Setting~ Tokyo, Japan & New York

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-08-20 21:40
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS for The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Scorpio Races

Maggie Stiefvater

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Some race to win. Others race to survive.

 

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. 

 

Some riders live.

Others die.

 

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. 

 

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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For some reason, this book was never on my radar.  I can't really say why.  If it wasn't for a reading challenge where I needed a book with a race in it…I probably would have never read it.  I think this is why I'm so addicted to them because they force me to discover something I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

 

I really liked The Scorpio Races, with all of the broody, dark-ish, Irish folklore-ish, mythical atmosphere that it had going on.  This is a story about the Capaill Uisce or Water Horses…a version of them anyway and an island where they train these horses, as best as they can, to run in a race they have every year.  There are some lulls in the story leading up to the race, but the budding romance/friendship between Puck and Sean is so beautifully done, that I hardly noticed them.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.2/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.5/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ Striking, both covers actually.

Narration~ 4.5 for Steve West and Fiona Hardingham, I did like Fiona better than Steve, but they were both exceptional.

Setting~ Thisby Island

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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