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review 2018-03-18 23:30
More fun with Sam and Jory...
A Matter of Time, Vol. 2 - Mary Calmes

So here we are at Vol 2 which is comprised of books 3 and 4 in Mary Calmes's series 'A Matter of Time' and again the narrator is Paul Morey and again this was an enjoyable listening experience...not great but no really issues. I like Paul Morey but for me he just didn't quite capture the character and voices of Sam and Jory...close but not quite.


Ok, so I'm outta' here for now to may RL things are demanding my attention so hopefully I'll revisit this and do a real review one day soon and if not I'll just have to re-listen to these audiobooks and then do a review. For now I'm outta' here.

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review 2018-03-18 23:13
It's time to visit Sam and Jory again...
A Matter of Time, Vol. 1 - Paul Morey,Mary Calmes

So I finally caved and listened to the audio books for this series and I have to admit this all came down a notch for me...partially because the narrators were ok but I wasn't enchanted with them and partially because while I enjoy this series please don't hate me when I say that this is not my favorite series by Mary Calmes...I'm sorry...not, I love the Marshals...true facts! And with any luck one day I'll do a more thorough review otherwise we'll just call it a day with this.


So Mary Calmes always a win for me narrated by Paul Morey and it was still good...not as great for me as other narrators but still I enjoyed myself.

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review 2018-03-18 23:00
Time Travel Romance Doesn't Quite Work
The Summerhouse - Jude Deveraux

So "The Summerhouse" series by Jude Deveraux is pretty popular. I have the first and second book in my collection, but I honestly have not read the first two books in a really long time. I just purchased the third book last weekend and thought this would be a good time to revisit the series. I have to say that it was good to re-read since I had forgotten how problematic some of the dialogue was and I didn't really care for one of the characters. A lot of reviewers that the main set-up was too unbelievable (it really is) and I have to say that the writing unfortunately falters due to splitting things between three characters. I know that in the second book Deveraux made sure her characters all went back to the same timeline so that helped make the book more cohesive. I have to re-read the second book eventually because I recall that one left me more dissatisfied than the first book did and I cannot recall why. 


"The Summerhouse" has three women about to turn 40 reunite to celebrate their birthdays. I do know the synopsis mentions three best friends. These women are not best friends. The entire premise is they met when they were in the DMV years ago (when they were all 21) in New York. Due to the guy who worked at the DMV being a gross human being, he made sure he kept the three young women there so they ended up befriending each other. Cue now speaking for 19 years until one of the women contacts the other two on the advice on her therapist. The three women are Leslie Hendrick (currently married, not so happily) Madison Appleby (divorced) and Ellie Abbott (also divorced).


We find out through fits and starts what happened to the three women since they first met each other 19 years ago. Leslie out of the three women seems to have a good life except she thinks her husband is having an affair and her two kids treat her like a doormat. Ellie was left bitter and angry after a judge sided with her ex in the divorce and she is left having to support him for the rest of her life. Madison gave up her chance to be a model in New York to come home to take care of her ex-boyfriend (eventually ex-husband) who ends up leaving her. 


Out of the three women I really liked Madison's story the best. I honestly liked Ellie's the least. Leslie I can't say much about since Deveraux honestly just ignores her for most of the book until the very end. It didn't even make sense what went on in her whole plot except I have to say her husband sucks even harder because apparently it's too hard to just have a conversation with people.

The secondary characters are not really developed outside of Madison and Ellie's stories. We get to see Madison's terrible ex, but also a love interest that really worked for me while I was reading. Ellie's ex-husband is just talked about, you don't get to see them interact. We also randomly have Ellie going off when she gets the chance to go back in time and the whole murder mystery she gets involved with should have been in another book.

The writing was so-so. As I said, I love time travel romance stories. I used to devour those things was a teenager. That said, the premise of this one with the three women doesn't work. I don't know why Deveraux didn't just change it so that they all stayed in touch during the 19 years and or went to school together, I don't know. I think that was the sticking point a lot of reviewers couldn't get past. The flow was not great from chapter to chapter since we kept jumping around to all three characters. Deveraux devotes the most amount of time to Madison's story I think just by my off the head calculation. The least amount of time is spent on Leslie's story. And Ellie comes in the middle. 


The setting of Maine, New York and a ranch that Ellie goes to. None of them felt very real to me while I was reading. Meaning, that Deveraux doesn't incorporate the locations much into the writing. The women just meet up in Maine (and it doesn't even make sense why that's the place they meet up since they all met initially in New York City) and then they have a lot of conversations catching up with each other about what has gone on in their lives.

The ending was okay. I honestly liked Madison's story-line resolution the most. Out of the three women I thought she got the rawest deal. I didn't care about Ellie's since it got so dumb with the whole murder sub-plot. And I felt like Leslie should have listened to her mother more in this book and just left her husband and smacked some sense into her children.


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text 2018-03-18 21:37
Reading progress update: I've read 335 out of 480 pages.
The Summerhouse - Jude Deveraux

Eh. I really wish we stop going back and forth. Just a bit more and I should be done in the next hour and hope to just post a review. Right now my feelings are this is a strong three star book, but there is some problematic stuff that stuck in my craw a bit.


When Ellie goes back in time she meets a man named Jessie (guess who the name of her hero is in her romance book she writes?) and he tells a story about a guy named Bowie who is looked at for being responsible for a murder of a man that Ellie never met before. Well that's all fine and good (actually a murder being thrown in here out of nowhere isn't good) but Jessie goes that there was an incident with Bowie and one the ranch owner's wife before, and when she sobered up and saw Bowie in the light of day, she presses charges. Blerg. So thanks for having a random aside in this romance book about a woman who lies about being assaulted cause when she wakes up the next day feels guilty. Such crap. 


We barely spend any time on Leslie's story at all. She goes back in time and attends a party of a young man who is in the present day probably going to be President one day. 

And we are now back in the present with all three women and apparently whatever happened in Madison's time travel adventure has changed her...apparently for the good.



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review 2018-03-18 21:20
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time (The Time Quintet #1) - Anna Quindlen,Madeleine L'Engle

Last weekend, the movie adaptation for A Wrinkle in Time was released in theaters here in America. And after hearing about the great representation it contained, I wanted to go see it and support the film on opening weekend. However, I am a person who loves to read the book first before watching the film. So I woke up early on the morning of Friday March 9, 2018 and read the first book in Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet before I left to watch the movie later that day. It was quite the experience, let me tell you that.


The book follows the main character, Meg, who clearly has a lot of self-esteem issues. She sees herself as plain and boring and stupid. She also tends to have a real bad attitude problem. As the story progresses, she learns that her missing father is lost through various dimensions and it's up to her, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and a school friend named Calvin to go along with three "heavenly" beings to rescue him. 


The story itself is interesting enough. I really like the imagination L'Engle created throughout her books. She made it scientific, whimsical, and bizarre. I was fascinated with the explanations about how the "wrinkles" work and what it means when it does. The plot was exciting and the true identity of "IT" was horrifying to say the least. I really enjoyed reading about how the science works in this world.


What I didn't enjoy as much was her characters. Let's start with Meg. I understand she is going through her adolescent years and having her father missing really messed with her self-esteem issues, but she was infuriating! She complained left and right, she was mean for no real reason other than because she had a short temper, and she was so immature when she finally found her father that she blamed HIM for all the "bad" things that happened to her and her brother. I know she's young but that's no excuse to be a complete jerk to the people who are trying to help you. That care about you. I'm so glad "movie" Meg is a lot more tolerable. (More on this later.)


Calvin is another character that I couldn't stand in the book. He shows up out of no where, insults Meg, and can be a snob at times. And we're supposed to believe that Meg finds him attractive so it's okay he treats her like crap? Really? Oh, not to mention it was because a boy paid attention to her so she started to feel better about herself. Give me a break. He was a jerk and I didn't like him one bit. Once again, so glad "movie" Calvin is not like that. (More on this later.)


Last character I want to talk about is Charles Wallace. He's basically one of the few characters from the book I actually liked. He has this "other worldly" presence about him. He knows more than is being told and I found him so fascinating. I love the intelligence he contained. I wanted to learn more about him! I guess I have to keep reading the series in order to get that information. X3 His movie version was good, but he came off more as a child than some "other being." It's not a bad rendition of the character. Just a different one.


Basically, this is one of those cases where the movie, in my opinion, is better than the book. I know! Blasphemy! But that's just how I feel. The book leaves a lot to be desired. I just wasn't attached to any of them by the end of it. Whereas the movie, I love how the characters were portrayed in the movie. Meg is so complex. She has self-doubt and doesn't think highly of herself, but she's not mean for no reason, she's not a hateful person like she is in the book. She is compassionate and understanding and she learns and grows throughout her adventures. I loved her relationship with her brother and how far she was willing to go for him. I love that she is a mix child in the movie (in the book, she's white) and how normal it is to have a family like this. I love that.


I also much more prefer Calvin in the movie than the book. In the movie, he's kind and charming. He treats Meg with respect. He never talks down to her and he never insults her. He's there to support her and be her friend. AND he's not the "cure-all" for all of Meg's problems. She still needs to deal with her own demons. It's just nice that she has a friend to support her whilst she does so.


Oh! And the "heavenly" beings of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which were so much more enjoyable in the movie than the book. Especially Mrs. Which. Mrs. Which in the book kinda shows up, tells the kids what to do, then leaves again. In the movie, she's a sort of support to Meg. She helps her, or tries to, see the beauty of who she is and I thought that was a great message to show to kids. 


I am in love with the beauty of this film on multiple levels.


The one thing I did not really like about the film was the lack of plot. My favorite thing about the book was how eerie Camazotz was and what went on there. Not to mention how horrifying IT was. But the movie didn't focus on it. It focus on the message of having confidence in yourself, about the love of a family, and doing the right thing no matter what. All those are great messages and I don't dislike the movie for that, I just wanted to see a little more of what made the book interesting for me.


All-in-all, I think you should read the book. It's pretty interesting when it comes to the science portion and when they get to Camazotz. However, the book can get a bit... preachy so keep that in mind when reading it. But once you do read it, definitely go see the movie. It's a beautifully stunning, well-told story about family and love. Kids NEED to see this movie. It's absolutely wonderful.

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