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review 2018-09-11 04:37
Hollie Overton: The Walls
The Walls - Hollie Overton

In her second novel Hollie Overton takes the reader inside a destructive relationship:


Kristy Tucker is the press agent for the Texas Department of Corrftiown. This means that she gets face to face with some of the worst criminals in the state as most of the men she deals with are on death row and she feels she can tell who the worst people are. When Kristy meets Lance, her sons’s martial arts instructor she is leery at first but soon Lance wears her down and Kristy believes she has found the one. She could not be more wrong; Lance is a monster, full of physical and verbal abuse. Lance is also a master manipulator and has everyone convinced even Kristy’s family that he is a saint. Kristy does not know how much more she can take, but she has to be willing to take things in to her own hands; Can she get away with murder?


This is the second book that I have read by Overton and I appreciated that it was a completely different story than the first. This book did not go in the direction that I thought it would, especially based on the title and cover of th book but I think the title has more to do with the walls that one creates around the self in order to survive and not the walls of the prison where Kristy works. Overtone does not spend that much time having Kristy at work especially in the latter half of the novel. So if you are expecting a prison type novel this is not what you are going to get here. It also takes a bit for the overall story line to get going and I had to go back an read the premise of the book to see what was supposed to happen in this book. As you r was farther in to the book you understand why Overton took the time to develop the relationship between Kristy and Lance as well as how Lance is going to fit in with Kristy’s family.


I personally do not think that I could do Kristy’s job, not only dealing with inmates on death row but also the families that those men have affected. This would take a toll on any person and that Kristy does this job very professionally speaks to her strength as a character. She is also a fantastic mom and daughter as she puts their needs way above her own and her want/need to portray that everything is perfect. It is these two strengths that start he to take action and start to make plans to make sure she never gets hurt again.


This book is not going to be for everyone and it definitely will have some trigger moments for individuals as Overton does not shy away from the domestic abuse that Kristy suffers, both verbally and physically. It also highlights what an individual is willing to go through in order for those that she loves can retain a normal life and so she chose to suffer in silence. This book really shines a light on domestic violence and the secretive nature that it can take on as even those close to you do not know what is going on.


This was a good read that was a bit slow to start. You will like Kristy as a character and her struggle to find love and then stuck with a man that is abusive towards her. I look forward to seeing what Overton comes up with next.


Enjoy!!!

 

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review 2018-09-08 23:33
The House With a Clock in Its Walls - Edward Gorey,John Bellairs

I swear it wasn't until halfway through reading this that I learned that they're making a movie of this.

 

...although SOMETHING inspired me to seek out this book. I remember classmates reading it when I was a kid, and I remember the creepy Gorey illustrations.

 

I wasn't much for horror as a kid. Didn't have an appetite for it. Now that I'm grown-up, scary kids books are just about right. Definitely no scary grown-up books for me (=

 

So I thought this book was charming. Magic, derring-do, characters both charming and creepy. Great illustrations by Edward Gorey (recommended: The Shrinking of Treehorn)

 

There wasn't a lot of substance to it, but I loved the creepy imagery, the real childhood fitting-in drama juxtaposed with the magic stuff.

 

Definitely not in my top 10 adventure/magic books for kids, but fun nonetheless.

 

So, I guess I'll be seeing the movie.

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review 2018-07-25 17:54
For whom the clock ticks
The House With a Clock in Its Walls - Edward Gorey,John Bellairs

The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs is the first in a series which (mainly) revolve around a boy named Lewis Barnavelt and his adventures living with his uncle who is a magician. I originally searched this book out because I saw the trailer for the upcoming film and got that familiar itch of "I must go to there". Then I found out that Edward Gorey was the illustrator and that clinched the deal. Bellairs blends mystery and magic to tell the story of a lonely little boy who is suddenly orphaned and thrust into the custody of a man he has never met before. Uncle Jonathan is unlike any person that Lewis has ever known and that's not only because he's a magician. Uncle Jonathan's house (a character in its own right) contains a mystery that all starts with the man who originally owned the property and who was himself a magician...a dark wizard in fact. With the combined forces of Uncle Jonathan and their neighbor (and witchy friend) Mrs. Zimmerman they begin a desperate search for the source of a mysterious ticking inside the walls of their house because they are certain it was magicked their by the original owner who no doubt created it with nefarious intentions. Our main character, Lewis, is at the same time struggling to fit in at his new school and while trying to impress his new friend he finds himself going against his uncle's wishes and trying a little magic of his own. Surely nothing could go wrong... This was a strong start to a series which began in 1973 and ran until 2008. [A/N: Books 4-6 were written after the death of John Bellairs from outlines and notes he left behind. The remainder were written entirely by Brad Strickland.] This book was a solid 8/10 but (as a heads up) I'll be reviewing 2 & 3 in the not too distant future and they didn't quite live up to this first book.

 

Check out the trailer which initially piqued my interest: The House with a Clock in its Walls.

 

 

 

One of the Edward Gorey illustrations from inside the book. [Source: Pinterest]

 

 

What's Up Next: The Outsider by Stephen King

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-07-23 21:25
A bad movie, a nail in the coffin of John Bellairs
The House With a Clock in Its Walls - John Bellairs

I felt compelled to reread this after seeing the godawful trailer for the new film. I ended up reading it aloud to my husband over the course of a few nights. The book is still wonderful. I've linked to book reviews for the Lewis Barnavelt Trilogy at the bottom.

I thought I was over getting nerdrage at bad book to film translations, but those trailers made me see red. 'A House with a Clock in It's Walls' is a meandering book about a lonely, scared boy finding a place for himself in his new family after his parent's death, and, above all, learning about true courage and friendship.

Tonally, aesthetically, and factually this movie has missed the mark. I know its only a trailer, but trailers these days seem to show the whole damn film. The casting is terrible. Lewis is some Hollywood kid instead of the weepy (his parents are DEAD, remember?), overweight bookish loner. Jack Black is all crazy googly-eyed as Uncle Jonathan. Mrs. Zimmerman instead of being the "wrinkliest" woman Lewis has ever seen, all smile lines, is played by Cate Blanchett with a silver wig. What a missed opportunity to bring back some great actress with a meaty role for an elderly woman.

Aesthetically, some effort seems to have been made to put it in early postwar America, but the CGI effects are plastered over everything and used for cheap laughs - complimented by bad dialogue.

Tonally, this was a book filled with gentle humor balanced with atmospheric dread and real scares. How can there be any balance in this movie?

John Bellairs books are in danger of going out of print - 'Figure in the Shadows' and 'The Letter, the Witch, and The Ring' are already gone. The book and the movie are so different that no kid who liked the movie is going to enjoy the book, creating NO demand for those sequels, and any kid with the sense to hate the movie is going to avoid the book thinking they share some similarities. More bad news: when this movie fails some asinine executive is going to think kids don't like fantasy or scary movies, when they only don't like bullshit.

The Lewis Barnavelt Trilogy:

'The House with a Clock in It's Walls'

'The Figure in the Shadows'

he Letter, The Witch, and The Ring'

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video 2018-07-19 05:03
The House with a Clock in Its Walls - John Bellairs

I am furious and sad. This trailer shows me a goofy, CGI-riddled mess. I was so excited when I heard about this movie, John Bellairs' books are starting to go out of print and I was hoping this would encourage kids to read them again. No kid who likes the movie is going to like the book. Period. The book was about Lewis learning a valuable lesson about who real friends are and facing fears, the book had positive adult role-models. A film could have been made that was funny, atmospheric and spooky that would honor Bellairs gothic inspirations and the Edward Gorey illustrations.

 

This is more than being upset about book vs. movie translation. This is, to borrow my husband's phrase, a book turned into a Universal Studios ride.

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