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review 2019-02-21 16:34
5 Star Historical Fiction Novel – Songbirds Are Free by P M Terrell @pmterrell
Songbirds Are Free: Inspired by the True Story of the Abduction and Captivity of Mary Neely - P.M. Terrell

It has only been recently that I have begun to read outside my favorite genres, and it is because of authors like P M Terrell. I first fell in love with her writing when I was reading the Black Swamp Mystery series and I never looked back.


Songbirds Are Free: Inspired by the True Story of the Abduction and Captivity of Mary Neely

Amazon / Goodreads




Close your eyes, take a deep breath and let your mind go. Imagine you are a pioneer woman, captured by the Indians, bound hand and foot and taken far from home.


Imagine floating in a canoe, smelling the trees, feeling the wind on your face and listening to the boat knife through the water. Around the bend the prairie spreads out in its vastness and a herd of bison grow larger. There is a white buffalo. Have you heard of it?


Songbirds Are Free by P M Terrell is told from two points of view. One is Mary’s, the other is Jim’s. A relative who never gives up in his search for her.


Captured by Indians, Mary chose to live and wait patiently to escape, adopting the life instead of dying and her determination to survive and return to her family is amazing.


Songbirds Are Free is a piece of P M Terrell’s personal history, spiced up with her ability to write a story that will have you white knuckled, sometimes pissed off, sometimes sad, sometimes even spreading a smile or two across my face as I travel with P M Terrell in Mary’s fictional footsteps.


I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Songbirds Are Free by P M Terrell.


Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos5 Stars






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review 2019-02-19 16:01
Snowed In (Hunt&Cam4Ever #4)
Snowed In: Hunter's Story - Adira August

“You didn’t beat your way through the layers of defenses,” Hunter went on. “You washed them away, massaged them away, gave me some kind of life energy you seem to exude from your pores. And it was too much, too fucking much. But you’re goddamned relentless. You wouldn’t stop until it all sloughed off and I was left raw and exposed. It was terrifying. And wonderful."


All relationship development with this one and I loved every single moment.  


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review 2019-02-18 14:23
Review of Papi by David Ortiz
Papi: My Story - David Ortiz

As a life-long Red Sox fan, I of course am a huge fan of David Ortiz. Some of my greatest memories as a fan involve his clutch hitting and larger than life personality. I was excited to read this book to get a behind the scenes look at the Ortiz and his life.


I enjoyed the book and feel like I learned a lot about Ortiz's personality and motivations. I don't think the book went deep enough in many places and I definitely wanted to read more about specific baseball games and situations. I would recommend this for Red Sox fans or hardcore baseball fans.

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review 2019-02-17 23:37
YA graphic novel about the teenage Catwoman; falls short of expectations, lacks depth, and is full of foul language
Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale - Lauren Myracle,Isaac Goodhart

Life pretty much sucks for Selina Kyle, at least for as long as she stays living at home with her mom and the endless stream of boyfriends she brings home. None have been as bad as the latest guy, Dernell, who’s cruel and will even lock Selina up in a closet when he wants to teach her a lesson. When something happens to Selina’s new cat, she can’t take it anymore; life on the streets will surely be better than staying where she feels so unhappy.

Selina joins a small ‘pack’ of street kids, learns parkour, gets close to an old friend and takes on the new name and persona ‘Catgirl.’ Usually more of a loner, she begrudgingly learns she has to trust others if she is going to survive. And she also plans to carry out some not-so-small heists in gritty, crime-addled Gotham City.


This YA graphic novel is fresh from the DC Ink line and is written by author Lauren Myracle, who is no stranger to teen and tween lit, writing the bestsellers ttyl, ttfn, l8r, and g8r. This also means some pretty high expectations, because of Myracle’s familiarity with her audience and her success.

‘Under The Moon’ also happens to be about probably one of the coolest female comic book icons, Catwoman, although here we really have a version of her unlike any that has been seen before. Since this Selina is only fourteen years old, she really is a girl, and so calling it ‘A Catwoman Tale’ is definitely a bit of a stretch. And so begins the problems, because if anyone has read or seen any incarnation of this character before, it’s really hard to remove that image or knowledge (only just recently Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas came out as #3 in the DC Icons series).


In previous comics and the novel I just mentioned, we see an older Selina, who takes care of her younger sister and is trained under Carmine Falcone, as well as a past that included her mother dying, being a prostitute, as well as training and living in Europe.


‘Under the Moon’ gives us a Selina with a wealth of issues: she’s a runaway, she stops going to school as a result (making her a high-school dropout), and resorts to cutting to relieve her emotional pain. While I understand the notion of presenting a teen character who has the inclination to run from her home situation (abuse in the home is a pretty valid reason), or has a problem with self-harming (I will warn readers now about this, because it’s a big trigger), since these may be relatable issues for some readers, I also take issue with that being done in a responsible manner. I feel like these are risky, BIG topics to so lightly insert into a slim 96-page graphic novel, with very little insight. It’s irresponsible to add in a topic like self-harming so casually.


Since this is aimed at teens who are 13 to 17, I also feel like the flagrant use of foul language was wholly unnecessary. Unlike another teen DC graphic novel coming out soon after this, Kami Garcia’s ‘Teen Titans: Raven,’ that doesn’t have expletives and talk about things like penis size thrown in, this probably will be the reason for reconsideration for libraries (especially school libraries) carrying this book. I am not naïve about the use of swearing in YA lit, but it seems excessive in ‘Under The Moon’ and distracted me from the story, being used in a way that seemed like it was used to pander to  young readers (who may think it’s ‘cool’ to talk like this).


I also got a very mixed notion as to who Selina is because of the swings in her characterization. Her portrayal is quite inconsistent, at once dismissive of the few friends she has, then she acts the opposite way soon afterward (although her compassion towards Rosie in the latter part of the novel is heart-warming). The self-harming comes out of nowhere. She is sometimes self-assured and then not remotely confident. And her connection to Bruce Wayne, which apparently starts in preschool, feels more confusing than it ever is in most literary and cinematic portrayals of Catwoman so far. Him being at public school is yet another diversion from his own origin story.

Something else that irritated me, is Selina’s inconsistent connection to CATS. I wasn’t convinced entirely by the way she came to call herself ‘Catgirl’ despite the event that preceded this juncture.


I wanted so much to love this graphic novel: the sentiments of her being a stray and her loneliness are powerful, with these being reasons for her ‘cat-burglar’ behavior, but I found too many problems that I couldn’t look past. Fleshed out and with paying more attention to the deeper issues in this story I would maybe go along with Selina’s backstory, but I can't recommend this, as it is right now (*as always, edits may be made before publication), to the targeted reader group.


**Points/extra star for cool artwork.



Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/38452822-under-the-moon?ac=1&from_search=true
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review 2019-02-17 22:35
Rasante Achterbahnfahrt eines alternden Sandmanns
Bad Boy by Banana: Zwischen uns die Zeit (3Bee by Banana - Band 1) - Alva Furisto

Bad Boy by Banana ist der Auftakt der 3Bee-Reihe. Am Ende des Buches gibt es eine Leseprobe zu „Bad Bitch by Banana - Achtung Rutschgefahr!“ 

Worum geht es: 
Tom Sandmann, Steuerberater, geht stark auf die fünfzig zu, steckt gerade in einer Krise und findet sich sowieso viel zu nett. Kurzerhand beschließt er ein Arschloch zu sein, da man ja als solches viel weniger Probleme hat. Als er dann aber in das Schaufenster des örtlichen Puffs fährt und von seinem Kanzleikollegen Richard in eine Hütte in die finnische Einöde geschickt wird, wo er aufgrund einer Doppelbelegung die ca. 30 Jahre jüngere Nancy kennen lernt, muss er feststellen, dass es gar nicht so leicht ist, die Arschlochfassade aufrecht zu erhalten. 

Meine Meinung: 
Der Anfang der Geschichte war aufgrund von Toms Sarkasmus und des teilweise humorvollen Schreibstils ganz unterhaltsam. Danach hatte ich das Gefühl, als würde jetzt erstmal eine Pause eintreten, aber da geht es erst richtig los. Das Buch nimmt immer mehr Fahrt auf, kurvt in verschiedene Richtungen und ist eine einzige Achterbahnfahrt mit vielen Stationen. Die Spannung wurde durchgehend hoch gehalten und die großartigen Dialoge zwischen Tom und der Señora setzen dem ganzen noch die Krone auf. Gut gefallen haben mir auch die eingebauten Legenden aus dem Westerwald, dem Handlungsort des Buches. Auch wenn man mit dem Stoff mehrere Bücher hätte füllen können, war es mir nicht zu viel. Die Charaktere sind markant und unverwechselbar und handeln meiner Meinung nach schlüssig. Der Schreibstil ist fesselnd und leicht verständlich. Es gibt einige Kraftausdrücke, die mich persönlich aber überhaupt nicht stören. 

Ein paar Kritikpunkte habe ich aber dennoch. Der Titel des Buches ist im Buch eine Marke. Es gibt Parfums, Duschgel und Sportklamotten von Bad Boy by Banana. Und diese Marke wird so unfassbar oft erwähnt, dass es irgendwann einfach nur noch überflüssig und leicht nervig wurde. Die Esoterik im Buch halte ich eigentlich auch für ziemlich überflüssig. Die Geschichte hätte auch ohne den ganzen Hokuspokus Sinn ergeben. Das Ende ist mir persönlich auch zu viel, aber darüber kann ich hinwegsehen. Die Vorgeschichte von Tom, die diese ganze Krise eigentlich erst ausgelöst hat, wird quasi nur mit einem Satz erwähnt und lässt das ganze irgendwie im Unklaren. Das finde ich ein wenig schade. Die Message des Buches, die quasi erst am Ende richtig durch kommt, finde ich aber sehr gelungen. 

Das Cover sticht einem aufgrund der grellbunten Farben förmlich ins Auge und erregt dadurch auch Aufmerksamkeit. Trotzdem ist es mir irgendwie schon zu bunt und passt auch nicht wirklich zum Buch. Im Selbstverlag erwarte ich natürlich auch kein super professionelles Cover, trotzdem sollte man nicht unbedingt direkt sehen, dass es keins ist. Mir persönlich fallen Rechtschreibfehler direkt ins Auge und davon habe ich hier für meinen Geschmack noch viel zu viele gesehen. 

Wer witzige Dialoge, verspielte Neckereien und einen rasanten, handlungsreichen Plot mag, der ist hier sicher gut aufgehoben.

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