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review 2016-08-07 20:01
MY BEST FRIEND'S EXORCISM Review
My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel - Grady Hendrix

Synopsis: A heartwarming story of friendship and demonic possession.

 

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? Like an unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist, My Best Friend’s Exorcism blends teen angst, adolescent drama, unspeakable horrors, and a mix of ’80s pop songs into a pulse-pounding supernatural thriller.

 

*****

 

Folks, I loved this book. I really, really, really loved this book.

 

While reading My Best Friend's Exorcism I experienced something pretty rare — I felt myself being totally and completely enraptured in the story. If I'm lucky, that happens maybe once or twice a year . . . and it hadn't happened at all this year — until this book, that is. At times I got frustrated while reading simply because I couldn't take it in fast enough. I wanted more! more! more! and I wanted to gulp it all down at once. I finished this book in two sittings, and it would've been one if life had not briefly gotten in the way. Yeah, it's one of those books.

 

What makes this novel sing is the author's obvious affection for the decade in which the story is set — the eighties — and the careful attention to detail that brings the setting and characters to life. The story focuses on two high school sophomores, and what happens when one of them becomes possessed by a demon. The story works because Grady Hendrix takes time in building these characters up, letting their friendship grow — it feels authentic. These girls are people I knew in high school, and I'm sure any reader would recognize them as well. By the time the bad stuff starts to happen the reader will already feel a deep sense of connection to and affection for all the characters, making the build-up to the climax and the resolution all the more striking and pulse-quickening.

 

It must be noted that this story is not The Exorcist. Every time I hear of a book
about kids or young adults possessed by a demon or the devil, my mind immediately shifts to that '70s William Blatty horror novel . . . But this ain't that. Hendrix makes this tale all his own, and while it's not as frightening or scarring, I enjoyed it just as much . . . if not moreso. There are so many pale imitations of The Exorcist out there, but My Best Friend's Exorcism stands on its own, and manages to not only get out from under the shadow of that classic tale but avoid it completely — a remarkable feat in its own right. Major props to Hendrix for that.

 

In short: read this now. I haven't loved a book this much since Owen King's Double Feature, and that released in 2013. This is a can't-put-it-down thriller about possession, drenched in neon colors and '80s pop songs. It's one of the more vibrant and fresh stories I have had the privilege of experiencing in quite some time. Scary enough for the horror audience but not too frightening for the faint hearted, My Best Friend's Exorcism is a story almost anyone can enjoy. If you've finished watching Stranger Things and you are itching for more like it, this novel will be right up your alley. Five easy stars.

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url 2016-07-05 14:00
Huffington's Books to Read This Summer

 

The Original Article

 

The ones that caught my eye:

 

 

Because of all the delicious controversy surrounding its genre-bending yet fantasy-bashing properties!

 

 

 

 

Because its description sounds yummy and I may use it to satisfy my own rule of reading non-fiction every now and then AND get away with it! 

 

"The Farallon Islands — a dangerous and unwelcoming little cluster of isles off the coast of California — is populated only by its wildlife and a small clique of scientists. That is, until Miranda, an emotionally adrift photographer, manages to secure permission to spend a year documenting the natural wonders of the archipelago. To the trained biologists, long accustomed to wearing protective gear against vicious bird attacks whenever they leave shelter, Miranda seems naive to the life-threatening realities of their environment — especially with real medical help so far away. Then, Miranda is assaulted by one of the scientists; not long after, he’s found dead. Is this a karmic revenge enacted by the ruthless forces of the island, or a very human revenge? It’s hard to stop turning pages as Geni leaves us wondering whether Miranda’s honesty and even her memory can be trusted, and as the natural perils of the Farallon Islands loom so ominous that getting out safe seems impossible."

 

 

 

 

Because, look: "In an interview with HuffPost, Ball explained that he likes writing quick reads — that books have to compete with other forms of entertainment, and in order to do so they should be like firecrackers with a short fuse." and again, because I can use it to claim I read YA!

 

 

 

 

Because of all the sci-fi-ey goodness!

 

 

 

That says it all:

 

"...a classic Austenian social set-up, but in Stillman’s hands it’s injected with more scandalous drama, more malice, an anti-heroine, and a bumbling, oblivious Mr. Collins type as the unctuous narrator. Love and Friendship offers a darker brand of comedy than Austen, and a thriller-esque narrative that entices readers to find out who will come out on top and whose social stratagems will be foiled. And then, well, you can Netflix and chill with the movie."

 

 

 

Because there is something about the way Novik writes that attracts me even if I cannot get into the Temeraire series.

 

 

 

 

Because I have wanted to read the first book forever but it looks like this can be read as a stand-alone. What fun!

 

 

That was my list. Which ones would you have picked? None or all?

 

 

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review 2016-07-05 01:24
A great feel-good book
You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour,David Levithan

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

You Know Me Well is an incredibly well-written feel-good book that doesn’t hold up as well when you start examining some of the finer threads that make up the novel. Never-the-less, it moved me and made me feel lots of mushy gushy things.

One of the finer threads I am referring to is the way time works in this novel. While I occasionally enjoy stories that take place during a short timeline, there are times when it doesn’t work for me and I become painfully aware of the short period of time in which the story is taking place. This was the case with You Know Me Well . The events in the book takes place over a week and given the pacing of this book, everything goes by really fast and it all just seems like a week isn’t enough for such major things to happen.

There is also a perfect quality to the ways in which everything works out. It seems almost fairy-tale and unearthly. Like bad things happen but also, lots of good things, which is completely valid and a thing that happens in real life but there are SO many highs and lows and conflicts and resolutions within the span of 5 days that it seems unreal.

Even though the book seems unreal at times, it is also captivating and sweeps you away on a magical journey about growing up, first love, friendship and all that jazz. You Know Me Well is also one of the few books that in my opinion tackles college in a manner that is actually realistic.

Kate for one has a tendency to hide from her problems and it takes her a while to realize that she isn’t actually ready for college even though she got into one of her top (if not the top) choices. Sometimes, you aren’t ready. Sometimes things happen and you need time to figure out the person you are before you are ready to tackle the challenge of college/university.

Along the way, Kate also makes a new friend who she has a healthier relationship with and also helps her realize the ways in which her past relationships have changed and also the ways in which she might have expectations from these relationships that aren’t necessarily real.

Miles is this friend and the way in which these two engage with one another is AMAZING. It’s one of the best friendships I’ve read in a while and made me all mushy inside.  

Miles is the other main character of the novel and one who had a painful journey with love. He is in love with his best friend and things might not end with the HEA he wants. Miles has to figure out what relationships matter to him and deal with the fact that HEAs don’t always happen in the way in which one might expect.

Basically, both these character are wonderful and adorable and so much fun to read about. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who needs a feel-good book that won’t fail to make you smile.

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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text 2016-03-28 19:36
July 2016 Must Read Books

July starts with a bang and plenty of fireworks!

 

From the most highly anticipated crime, suspense,
and mystery thrillers --to fun and entertaining chick-lit
 for your summer lazy days and nights. 

 

 

30 Top July Books To Get On Your List 
For your hammock, lakeside chilling,
and summer beach reading escape!    

 TRULY MADLY GUILTY

Liane Moriarty

July 26

 

GUILTY MINDS

Joseph Finder

Nick Heller #3

July 19 

 

ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN 

Wendy Walker 

July 12 

FALLING

Jane Green

July 19

 

THE PERFECT NEIGHBORS

Sarah Pekkanen

July 5

 

IN TWENTY YEARS

Allison Winn Scotch

July 1

    

 DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE

Susan Mallery

July 12 

 

BAGGAGE CHECK 

 M. J. Pullen

July 12

 

I'VE GOT SAND IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES 

Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

July 12  

Blog Tour July 14 

    

ONE LESS PROBLEM WITHOUT YOU 

 Beth Harbison

July 26

 

GOOD AS GONE

Amy Gentry 

July 26

 

UNTOUCHABLE 

Sibel Hodge

July 18

 

     

   THE HATCHING

Ezekiel Boone 

July 5

 

EVERYTHING I DON'T REMEMBER  

Jonas Hassen Khemiri 

July 12

 

THE INNOCENTS

Ace Atkins

Quinn Colson #6 

July 12  

 

THE TRAP 

 Melanie Raabe

July 5 

 

THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10

Ruth Ware 

July 19

 

YOU WILL KNOW ME

Megan Abbott 

July 26  

  

BABY DOLL 

 Hollie Overton 

July 12  

 

THE SISTER

Louise Jensen 

July 7

 

THE STEPMOTHER

Claire Seeber

July 15

        

THROW AWAY GIRLS
Jaycee Wilder Series
Jennifer Vaughn 

July 15 

 

YOU'LL MISS ME WHEN I'M GONE 

Kevin O'Brien

July 26 

 

THE BEAUTY OF THE END 

 Debbie Howells

July 26

     

AGE OF CONSENT

Marti Leimbach

July 26

 

THE LIGHT OF PARIS

Eleanor Brown 

July 12

 

THE CHOICES WE MAKE 

Karma Brown

July 12   

     

WHAT MATTERS MOST  

Texas Gold Collection #4

Kellie Coates Gilbert

July 5

 

TOBY

 David Johnson

July 26

 

OUTFOXED 

David Rosenfelt

July 19

 

Non-Fiction Food Corner  . . .  Want to Eat Healthy?

As a Vegan, with a history of food allergies,
I stay away from additives and nasty preservatives.   
Have been on a plant based diet for five years.  It works!

Two Awesome Books Coming July
You Must Read! 

 

  

PURE FOOD

A Chef's Handbook for Eating Clean, with Healthy, Delicious Recipes

By: Kurt Beecher Dammeier

July 5

 

FOOD FORENSICS

The Hidden Toxins Lurking in Your Food and How You Can
Avoid Them for Lifelong Health

  Mike Adams

July 26   

 

 

I'VE GOT SAND IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES 

Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

Blog Tour July 14

 

 

Pre-order Now and Enter to WIN

  

 



What's On My Radar for August 2016

 

 

 

JDCMustReadBooks 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!book-blog/c12w3/tag/july-2016
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text 2016-03-16 17:40
Hello June! Summer Best Reads

Book-lovers have plenty of reasons to be excited this June!

 

Keep reading to see the fantastic roundup of Hottest June Must Reads.   

 

 

FIRST COMES LOVE

 Emily Giffin 

June 28

 

UNTETHERED

Julie Lawson Timmer

June 7

 

SUNSHINE BEACH

Wendy Wax

June 21 

  HERE'S TO US

 Elin Hilderbrand

June 14  

 

SWIMSUIT BODY 
Eileen Goudge

June 7 
 

FOREVER BEACH

Shelley Noble 

June 7

THE GIRL WHO CAME BACK

Susan Lewis 

June 7

 

THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN 

Lisa Jewell

June 7 

 

I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT YOU

Terry McMillan

June 7 

THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY

Hazel Gaynor 

June 7

 

IF I FORGET YOU

Thomas Christopher Greene

June 14 

 

A CERTAIN AGE 

 Beatriz Williams

June 28  

 

 END OF WATCH

The Bill Hodges Trilogy #3

Stephen King

June 7

 

INK AND BONE

The Hollows

Lisa Unger

June 7  

 

FIELD OF GRAVES

A Taylor Jackson Novel
J. T. Ellison 

June 14 

ALL THE MISSING GIRLS 

Megan Miranda

June 28

 

SINCE SHE WENT AWAY

David Bell

June 21   

 

MARKED FOR LIFE

Emelie Schepp 

June 14 

      

WE COULD BE BEAUTIFUL 

Swan Huntley

June 28 

 

SECURITY

Gina Wohlsdorf

June 7    

 

THE NIGHT IS DEEP

Joe Hart

June 28 

 

  

THE HOUSE OF SECRETS

Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg

June 7 

 

 

SEASHELL SEASON 

Holly Chamberlin 

June 28

 

STICKS AND STONES

Michael Hiebert

June 28

 

 

 From debuts, chick-lit, suspense, domestic, literary, historic,
psychological, dramas, mystery, to crime thrillers.

Take your pick.  Pre-Order Now!

*Additional books may be added to the list, prior to June 

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 
Upcoming July Books   

 

 

In the Event You Missed May Top Reads

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!book-blog/c12w3/tag/june-2016
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