Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program…Soon

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It seems I may have taken a longer hiatus than July; than I anticipated quite frankly. I disappeared on you, my dear readers. I apologize. I started to get more involved in my paper crafting business. Whew, start-ups are hard work! Thankfully, you guys have stuck with me. And, for that I thank you. In return, I promise to be more active. I have a few good, fun posts planned for you. A few literary events I am going to, some good books to be reviewed, and a new edition to Indiereadergirl0329– buddy reads with my dear friend Christine from Readerly Musings. We will be co-reviewing books from this past BEA together on both of our blogs, so be sure to check both of us out.

This will all start in the beginning weeks of September, so stay tuned. You don’t have much longer to wait, I promise.

 

I thought I’d add a nice pinterest find, a beautiful poem. I hope you enjoy both this and your weekend!!

Happy reading and thanks for stopping by!

Kundalini rising (A poem for your fire)

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Told in Reverse: The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai Book Review

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The Hundred-Year House

By: Rebecca Makkai

Released: July 10th, 2014 by Viking Adult

Length: 352 Pages

Genre: Fiction

Rating: Two Stars

Acquired: via publisher

 

Makkai tells an original family saga in reverse in The Hundred Year House. From family suicide to mysterious deaths, and an old artist colony filled with secrets, The Hundred Year House doesn’t disappoint with the amount of secrets. In this family comes first drama, you learn what it means to be a Devohr.

There was plenty to take in, in this novel. There were the general plot lines of the characters: Doug and his struggle to write his book while hiding the fact that he’s become a ghost writer for a popular teen series that is a little embarrassing; there’s his wife, Zee who is doing her best to secure a spot for “jobless” Doug, by implicating a fellow professor for stuff he isn’t doing. Then there is the couple living with them that are slightly minor. Plus, there’s Gracie, the mom, who is blocking Doug from finding out about certain things that happened in the artist colony.

This novel was intriguing, while a little lackluster for me. I found myself reading it days in between. It didn’t hold my attention as well as I had hoped it would. Although, it did get better in the end. The beginning was slow. Would this be a book I would recommend, no I don’t think so. It took too long for me to feel invested. The characters weren’t my favorite. The plot was a little interesting, though. I liked the ghost haunting the house, but that was not a sub plot that was fully developed, unfortunately.

Dollbaby, Dollbaby, Tell Me Your Secrets: Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal

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Dollbaby

By: Laura Lane McNeal

Released: July 3rd, 2014 by Pamela Dorman Books

Length: 352 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction- 1960s Southern Fiction

Rating: Four Stars

Acquired: via publisher

 

After the sudden death of Liberty “Ibby” Bell’s father when she is around 11, her mother drops her off to stay with her grandmother she never knew. To a house full of secrets and wonderment. There she meets Dollbaby and Queenie, the two women that know how to keep the house running and take care of Fannie, the grandmother. But, they two have secrets meant for keeping.  

Taking place in the 1960’s during the civil rights movement in New Orleans, Dollbaby offers a fun take on a historical fiction novel. Both Dollbaby and Queenie have sass beyond belief. Ibby isn’t lacking any herself. Fannie is a delight, yet a little crazy and eccentric. The plot takes place in three parts, separated by four years each. The first part when Ibby is young, the second when she is in High School, and the last and shortest, when she is in college. Each section offers an authentic look at the civil rights movement and what it was like for a white person to have a black friend. Ibby’s best friend was Dollbaby’s daughter.

I loved this book. I feel the author did a fantastic job analyzing the civil rights movement during that period. She crafted fun, complex, intriguing characters full of life. There was so much to like and enjoy. Then, there were the secrets. My, was I not prepared for what I kept learning. Especially the reveal at the end. There is a tie in reveal that had me shocked for days. Days! Even thinking about it now, I’m back to being shocked. It’s major. Not just OMG major, but major to the characters and plot line. You just can’t believe it happened; and a little you can’t believe the author wrote it in. It’s that shattering. That big. I don’t know in a good way. It’s just big.

There is something about this book that will keep you wanting more. It’s one of those pieces of literature that is so good and fulfilling that at the end you want an unnecessary sequel just so you can read more. There’s no point. No real plot thatcan be continued, but I want it. I will definitely try to read more by this author. She really hooked me in. I hope you will check this novel out. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a little similar to The Help, but really only because there is “the help” featured. I find it can stand on its on far better. Just give it a go.

 

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

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The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

By: Adele Griffin

Released: August 12th, 2014 by Soho Teen

Length: 256 Pages

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

Rating: 3 and a half stars

Acquired: via publisher

Ida, Ida, Ida. Just call me Ida. I don’t even need a last name, although it’s Grimes if you really want to know. Some say I am part of Addison’s mind. I caused  her to go crazy; to try to get her to kill herself the first time with those darn pills and razor blades. I just wanted her to paint my picture. I just wanted her to know who I was. Ida, Ida, Ida. I’m Ida. I’m real! I am, I tell ya. That girl, that girl’s not trouble. She has talent. Real talent. Gone too soon. Maybe she was too talented. Saw too much. Felt too much. It wasn’t the Z she took, those drugs for her condition. Could it be those boys? It was the talent! It swallowed her whole, it did. I saw it all.  Well, kind of. But, let’s just say I did, for goodness sake.

That reporter, or teacher trying to be a reporter, Adele Griffin did a good job trying to tell my Addison’s story; although she wasn’t so kind to me. Treating me like a psychotic episode. Do I have to say I’m real again? But that Griffin woman, she tried to capture my Addy. The beauty, the darkness, the raw, brilliant talent that girl had. Griffin held intriguing interviews with those close to her, including her best friend Lucy, and those troublesome boys Zach Frat and Lincoln Reed. Did they kill her? There was such darkness inside of  her.  Such pain and illness. Not just me, me, me. was her guardian angel. I tried to protect her. This Griffin woman didn’t write that, how I tried to save her. Lucy tried to deface me. The Z can’t stop me from existing!

This is a compelling narrative for anyone who wants to know about Addison Stone; the artistic life, the dark life, and everything in between. I highly recommend this. If not for the words, for the art by Addison Stone and photographs of Addy and friends.  It’s worth a look over. I’m Ida, you can trust me.

What Everyone Thinks They Know: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu Book Review

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The Truth About Alice

By: Jennifer Mathieu

Released: June 3rd, 2014 by Roaring Brook Press

Length: 199 pages

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction– bullying

Rating: Four Stars

Acquired: via netgalley

 

Alice Franklin was one of the popular girls. She wore pencil skirts and fitted tops. She was pretty without trying very hard. She was wanted. That’s what got her in trouble. It started at a party, where it always starts. Alice “has sex with two boys in one night” according to one of the recipients who texts his best friend. That slut. If it was just sex, she’d be a slut. But, weeks later the boy with the loud keyboard dies while sexting Alice in a car crash. Now, not only is she a slut, she is a slut who kills the superstar quarterback because she can’t keep it in her pants. How could she! The Truth About  Alice isn’t her story, but the story of four people who think they know the truth; only one is right.

Alice doesn’t get to defend herself in this unique take on he said/ she said. Told in alternating voices of the girl who threw the party, Alice’s then best friend, the best friend of said dead guy, and a guy who wasn’t there but may know something, this novel gives us a look at what bullying is really like. Each voice is different. The party thrower focuses more on herself rather than Alice. The best friend throws Alice completely under the bus because she doesn’t want to be a loner like she was at her old school again. The best friend of dead guy is just idiotic, and the shy, wasn’t even there guy, is the only great character; also, with the only narrative that has Alice speak albeit briefly and in little sentences.

You might not believe me, but I loved this book. Really loved this book. I thought Mathieu did an excellent job writing about High School bullying; and, how hurtful rumors can be. Alice is not the only person who has been slut shamed, whether or not the rumor was true. She went from looking pretty, being herself, to wearing pants and a hoodie zipped up, hiding her head. This isn’t a rare thing, unfortunately; and, Mathieu captured it masterfully. The reader is taken through the whole journey of the development of the rumor to discovering the truth. It’s a heart breaking story, with only a small happy ending.

Although I am well out of High School, and the politics of it, I can see this book as still being relevant. Kids are still cruel. People are being bullied all the time. I think this is a perfect novel to be taught in schools.  See, kids, this is what happens. Do you want to be such and such? Do you see what he/she is doing to Alice? Having Alice not speak in this novel, although it sounds like it wouldn’t work nor be beneficial in teaching a lesson, it does the opposite. Here’s how: you meet Kurt. Kurt is not popular, a total nerd, and the only one who befriends Alice. Yes, he had a crush on her, but his narrative becomes so much more. It brings reality to all the other nonsense you read from the other three people.

At first, I was apprehensive when I found out Alice never gets a chance to defend herself against these rumors, but as I continued reading, I understood why. If you choose to read this book (please do!) you’ll get it, too. Sometimes, these rumors have nothing to do with the victim. They just happen to be with the target. You need to understand the person who is the bully. It completely works. You don’t feel sorry for these people, I sure didn’t, but you get it. You understand where rumors start, develop, and take off full force. This approach is certainly a risk, it may not work in fiction all the time, but Mathieu did it well.

I highly recommend this book. I read it in one sitting; it’s that good. You just want to find out the truth. You know one of them knows, but which one. You will be surprised at who and why. There are three good plot twists that I enjoyed. Little zingers I didn’t see coming. The end was also very good. I loved it. I hope you read it. It’s a book not to be missed, in my opinion. Plus, if you know someone in High School, or are in High School yourself, this will be a great novel for you, I promise!

So the Inquistion Liked to Toture People; Witchfall (The Tudor Witch Trilogy #2) by Victoria Lamb Book Review

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Witchfall (The Tudor Witch Trilogy #2)

By: Victoria Lamb

Released: March 25, 2014 by Harlequin Teen

Length: 368 Pages

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction– Tudors Fantasy/ Witches

Rating: One Star

Acquired: via netgalley

 

Meg Lytton should be in the clear. She just narrowly escaped Marcus Dent, the renowned witch hunter who accused her of witch craft. She is in love with a Spanish, novice Priest who loves her back. She has proven herself to be more powerful a witch than she ever thought she was. But, in 1555, Meg Lytton is not in the clear. No where near it. Still a maid to the Princess Elizabeth in a time of trouble, the Inquisition is now poking its nose in places it doesn’t belong. Meg’s secret betrothed can only do so much; their love is threatened  every day on top of every other trial. Will they or won’t they get married? Then, there’s Marcus Dent. Is he truly back?

The sequel promises action, possible betrayal, and love. What it brings is another story. A majority of the novel is spent at court, with Queen Mary awaiting her child that never comes while her husband courts Lady/Princess Elizabeth. Not much happens, truthfully. The Inquisition rears its ugly head, but even that action is small. Not much seemed to occur. What does occur takes little space and is not fully developed. Lady/Princess Elizabeth is still a brat, trying to get Meg into more trouble, messing with darker arts.

I liked the first book in the series. I didn’t love it, but enjoyed it enough. This book fell completely flat for me. I didn’t like it one bit. At first, it started out okay. I thought I could get into it; but as page fifty hit, I stumbled. I found myself forcing myself to read it. I began hating the characters. Not liking the way the plot was going, or not going as it was so slow to move. Nothing seemed to happen. The major changes were given a few pages, if that. I was bored. Very, very bored. When things would occur to the main characters, I found myself not caring. I was tired of Meg constantly drawing out her love for her Priest. The will they or won’t they got on my nerves. Needless to say, I will not be continuing the series. I could barely find the energy to finish this one!

I wish I had a good recommendation for this book, but sadly I don’t.

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