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review 2018-03-18 19:27
#Audiobook Review: A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wind in the Door - Listening Library,Jennifer Ehle,Madeleine L'Engle

A Wind in the Door is the follow up story to one of my favorite books, A Wrinkle in Time. Moving forward in time a couple years, we catch up with Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace as they take on another cosmic adventure. This time around, Charles Wallace is very ill, and Meg and Calvin meet new beings who help them try to save him.


Once again, I listened to the book with my 11-year old daughter (after reading it several times in my youth and as an adult). We both found the story somewhat interesting, but not nearly as good as the first book. I felt the story tries too hard to get across its messages of "everything is connected" and "love everyone." The concepts used became increasingly repetitive and unnecessarily confusing. We both became bored with the Meg's tests, meanwhile, we both were able to figure out and solve Meg's problems well before she did.


Ms. Ehle does a good job with her narration, although I did enjoy Ms. Davis's performance in A Wrinkle in Time a bit more. At first, it was hard not to compare the two performances, but after a while, I could appreciate Ms. Ehle's work on its own merit. She has a calming presence and captures the exuberant nature of Meg.


In the end, I enjoyed the experience of listening to A Wind in the Door with my daughter, but we both agree the book had a few issues.


My rating: B-/C+
My daughter: 3.4 stars


Narration: B
My daughter: 4 stars

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review 2018-03-17 23:08
This would have been four stars but....
The Vampire Next Door - Natalie Vivien,Bridget Essex

This is a co-written work between Bridget Essex and Natalie Vivien. I have read several of Essex's work and a couple of Vivien's. Both are very talented authors and I look forward to each new work of theirs. 


However this piece while engaging and very imaginative was not as good as I expected it to be. I'm a huge fan of vampire literature and other peoples take on different characteristics they may or may not have. Add in lesbians and you have me sold!


The world itself is set up like an alternative United States where it's only been a few years since vampires have come out of hiding. In this world, they even have a woman president who is also a vampire. Props. Throughout the story, it shows the discrimination vampires face, which is similar to what homosexuals and persons of color have faced throughout all over the world. Just a lot hate mongering from people who don't want to understand someone whose different from them. Which is a very interesting take and imaginative in my opinion. I even like the main character and her to be love interest. It's very sweet and romantic.


But the elephant in the room that I could not ignore was the fact that the main character Courtney; is still in a relationship. I will interject and say that she doesn't cheat on her girlfriend, but it's clear she's attracted to Lare. (her to be love interest) Throughout the story, you come to find out that her girlfriend, Mia isn't very good to Courtney. In fact, she's downright sleazy if you ask me. She looks at other women is clearly sleeping around on her girlfriend. The kicker? They have only been together for FIVE months. Mia has been doing all this to someone who she has only been going out with for a short period of time. Which is frustrating that Courtney continues to put up with her for nearly sixty percent of this book. All while feeling a deep pull towards Lare. I could see it being hard if it was like five years, and the other woman was good to her.


But there's really no real reason why they should still be together in any sense of the word. There are multiple examples of times where Courtney should have left Mia. But she doesn't. It makes zero sense to me and after a while it just got old. Especially when she keeps repeating that she needs to leave Mia but she keeps avoiding it. There was really just no need of this back and forth over a five-month relationship. It just really dimensioned the book as a whole; that wasn't even super long, to begin with. 


This could have been much better and I wish it had been because I do adore both authors works. That aside I will continue to look forward to their work, but this one just didn't quite resonate with me as well as I had hoped for it too.

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review 2018-03-16 13:42
the family next door
The Family Next Door - Sally Hepworth

Author: Sally Hepworth

Rating: 4 stars


Good writing and a nice twist elevate this book from this is just a Hallmark-movie-of-the-week in print status. Not that I dislike Hallmark movies. I've been known to binge watch with mom on snow days.


How well do you know your neighbors? In this story, there is more than meets the eye to all our characters. It was fun putting the pieces together and trying to figure out what was going on in this little suburban neighborhood. I thought I had it a couple of times in the beginning but was wrong.  Finally, by page 172  I had figured out the big twist. BUT I thought- If Hepworth is going there, that's a nifty twist.  I'm on board. Let's ride this train. 


Well done.


Definitely recommend. 

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review 2018-03-06 20:08
The House Next Door - Anne Rivers Siddons

When compiling a list of vintage horror books to read and review this month, my first and best source was Stephen King’s Danse Macabre. Invaluable was it in determining which novels I wanted to take a chance on it. In Danse King spends three or four pages dissecting this — Anne Siddons’s 1978 release, The House Next Door, one of the smartest and most atmospheric haunted house tales I’ve read yet.


Told from the point of view of Colquitt Kennedy, an upper-middle class woman living in an upscale Atlanta suburb with her husband, Walter, this unfolding of the mysterious and macabre does not happen quickly; this author deals in dread, letting her readers squirm. I love that quality in horror from the ‘60s and ‘70s, and it’s something that seems to have been lost sometime in the ‘80s. Quiet terror with a focus on the psychological is much more effective, to me, than buckets of guts and blood and dismembered bodies.


Not only does The House Next Door work as a horror show, but is also works — at times — as a satire. Siddons gleefully mocks the foibles of suburban life: the block parties, the whispering neighbors, the hypocrisy — all unfolding in houses with freshly manicured lawns and evenly painted shutters. Because of that, this story feels authentically American. The author’s sense of setting, locale, is impeccable.


This is one of the finest haunted house stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading. While not as explosive as The Shining or as iconic as The Haunting of Hill House, this very much deserves to get a look from horror fans.

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review 2018-03-04 23:59
The Voice Behind the Small Attic Door
The Voice Behind the Small Attic Door - Mary Lynn Plaisance

This story takes place shortly after a woman wants to be a bride and have her dream wedding. There a mystery that unfolds as soon as the bride and groom are to leave the church. Why and how does Mike Harwing die and why?

There seems to be a someone that knows and Susan also knows but why? The parent of Susan want to help their daughter but do not know how.

We are pulled in and wondering what happen. Why is Susan acting the way she is. Susan hears a Voice named Piddle Paddle Waddle. No one can hear this person other than Susan. She comes into Susan room. Though her parents cannot see or hear this voice from the small Attic Door.

You will be surprised and the twist and turns this book takes you on. Does Susan have a personality disorder or not? Her parents do find some really strange emails but do not know what to do about them. They seem to find out how evil their daughter is but they love her a lot to want to get her help.

Mary Lynn Plaisance doe bring the story line together and leave you wondering what Piddle Paddle Waddle will do? Will Susan learn her lesson or will she not? You will see find out by reading the book.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-voice-behind-small-attic-door.html
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