Friday, July 20, 2018

The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel


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Today’s post is on The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel by Jennifer McQuiston. It is the third in her Seduction Diaries. It is 384 pages long and is published by Avon Books. The cover has the main character with her back to the reader as her dress is slipping off her shoulders. The intended reader is someone likes historical romances. There is mild foul language, sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told from third person close of the two main characters moving from one to the other as the story goes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.


From the back of the book- Every girl dreams of a hero . . .
No one loves books more than Miss Mary Channing. Perhaps that’s why she’s reached the ripe old age of six-and-twenty without ever being kissed. Her future may be as bland as milk toast, but Mary is content to simply dream about the heroes and adventures she reads about in her books. That way she won’t end up with a villain instead.
But sometimes only a scoundrel will do.
When she unexpectedly finds herself in the arms of Geoffrey Westmore, London’s most notorious scoundrel, it feels a bit like a plot from one of her favorite novels. Suddenly, Mary understands why even the smartest heroines can fall prey to a handsome face. And Westmore is more handsome than most. But far worse than the damage to her reputation, the moment’s indiscretion uncovers an assassination plot that reaches to the highest levels of society and threatens the course of the entire country.
When a tight-laced miss and a scoundrel of epic proportions put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. But unless they put their hearts together as well, a happy ending is anything but assured.


Review- A cute and quick read between two character who have more in common than they originally thought. It is the third in a series but you do not have to read the first two to understand the plot. Mary and Westmore are really good for each other and for this plot they only have each other. Mary has a wild imagination and deep tragedy in her past; Westmore has traumatic past himself and is prankster to boot. So when they overhear a plot to kill the Queen no one believes them, leaving them with no choice but to stop it themselves. Of course they have an attraction and that adds more trouble for everyone from them to the villains. But their love story is pretty sweet and Westmore does try his best to make Mary happy and she wants to learn how to make him happy too. I enjoyed this book and I am curious to read the others in the series.


I give this novel a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Purple Diaries: Mary Astor and the Most Sensational Hollywood Scandal of the 1930s


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Today's Nonfiction post is on The Purple Diaries: Mary Astor and the Most Sensational Hollywood Scandal of the 1930s by Joseph Egan. It is 300 pages long and is published by Diverson Publishing. The cover is a  close-up picture of Mary Astor. The intended reader is someone who is interesting in classic Hollywood history. There is foul mild language, talk of sex, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- One of Hollywood s first scandals was nearly its last.
1936 looked like it would be a great year for the movie industry. With the economy picking up after the Great Depression, Americans everywhere were sitting in the dark watching the stars and few stars shined as brightly as one of America's most enduring screen favorites, Mary Astor.
But Astor's story wasn't a happy one. She was born poor, and at the first sign that she could earn money, her parents grabbed the reins and the checks. Widowed at twenty-four, Mary Astor was looking for stability when she met and wed Dr. Franklyn Thorpe. But the marriage was rocky from the start; both were unfaithful, but they did not divorce until after Mary Astor gave birth to little Marylyn Thorpe.
What followed was a custody battle that pushed The Spanish Civil War and Hitler's 1936 Olympic Games off of the front pages all over America. Astor and Thorpe were both ruthless in their fight to gain custody of their daughter, but Thorpe held a trump card: the diaries that Mary Astor had been keeping for years. In these diaries, Astor detailed her own affairs as well as the myriad dalliances of some of Hollywood's biggest names. The studio heads, longtime controllers of public perception, were desperate to keep such juicy details from leaking.
With the complete support of the Astor family, including unlimited access to the photographs and memorabilia of Mary Astor's estate, The Purples Diaries is a look at Hollywood s Golden Age as it has never been seen before, as Egan spins a wildly absorbing yarn about a scandal that threatened to bring down the dream factory known as Hollywood."

Review- This is an engaging and insightful look into a scandal that captivated a nation. Egan gets access to the Astor family, the first hand documents, and other sources as he brings to life the biggest scandal of the time. Mary Astor wanted a divorce from her third husband but she was also the money maker for the family. The husband Franklyn Thorpe wanted to keep the money, the house, and the baby. From there we have our scandal and the personal life of a star was on display for the nation for the first time. Egan does he best to help the reader see both sides but it is hard to be sympathetic to Dr. Thorpe as he was a hard man who did some very questionable things before, during, and after the marriage. The child's best interests are at the heart of the story but that can get lost in the details of this, at the time, sordid tale. If you are interested in classic Hollywood history, then you should look this book up.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play, Volume 4: Bandit

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Today's post is on Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play, Volume 4: Bandit by Yuu Watase. It is 189 pages long and is published by Shojo Beat. The cover has the two main characters on it facing the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes historical fantasy, high fantasy, romance, and shojo stories. There is mild foul language, mild sexuality, and violence in this story. The story is told from third person close of the main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- After being drawn into the world of a strange book with her ex-best friend and now-enemy Yui, Miaka searches to find the remaining three Celestial Warriors, leading her into the lair of bandits and to a plague-curses town.

Review- Lots of plot happens with Yui demanded that Tamahome come with her and stay as hostage. He does it to save everyone but  Miaka is of course over the top about getting him back. So much so that she almost gets eaten by a demon. But she gets out ok and finds another warrior. Tamahome is in a really bad place because he tries to go back to help Miaka and gets tortured by the enemy general. Yui is in love with Tamahome as well so that is going to make things so much harder for everyone including herself. The enemy general is going to be a really bad guy if not the ultimate baddie. He is doing stuff behind the scenes that we are just getting hints of but Yui has no idea about. Watase is a master plotter and I am very curious about where the plot is going.

I give this volume a Five out Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Bleeding Earth

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Today's post is on Bleeding Earth by Caitlin Ward. It is a stand alone novel. The cover is reddish-pink with the two main characters on it facing away from the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes horror and young adult novels. There is foul language, implied sex, and violence in this book. The story is told from the first person perspective of the main character Lea. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.
Lea wants to ignore the blood. She wants to spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn't so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and Aracely whatever way she can.


Review- This is a very dark but interesting horror novel. Everything happens very quickly and nothing get explained. I know why nothing get explained because we are following two teenagers who are not scientists' or anyone really important. They are just two kids trying to survive and hang on to each other. Ward does a great job of describing a world gone mad and she handles young love being added in well too. The heart of the story is about Lea and Aracely but everything else around them is pure madness from the blood and hair just coming up from the ground to the people losing their minds and becoming animals. The gore aspect is hard to read but I liked the characters so much that I was willing to follow them in the blood soaked world they now live in. As it is YA it ends on a hopeful note and while there are no answers given the Lea or the reader, it was still a good story.

I give this novel a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Educated


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Today's post is on Educated by Tara Westover. It is 352 pages long and published by Random House. The cover has a sharpened pencil on it. The intended reader is someone who is interested in memoirs of survival. There is mild foul language, no sex, and  violence it this book. The story is told from first person close the author.

From the dust jacket- An unforgettable memoir in the tradition of The Glass Castle about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.
Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent.
Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes and the will to change it.

Review- This is a heart-breaking memoir about survival and being educated as Westover says at the end. We follow Westover from as early as she can remember to close present day. She does the best she can to recreate her childhood from journal, memories, and interviewing the family that still has something to do with her. It is a very heard read, to read about her parents terrorizing herself and her siblings, her siblings terrorizing each other, and the extreme lack in their lives. Westover does the best she can with her very limited resources and she goes very far but at a very high cost. The writing is very good, with the descriptions drawing very clear but at times disturbing images, and a very compelling narrative.

I give this Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Claymore volume 18: The Ashes of Lautrec



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Today's post is on Claymore volume 18: The Ashes of Lautrec by Norihiro Yagi. It is the eighteenth the long running Claymore series, you need to have read the first seventeen volumes to understand the story. It is 191 pages long and is published by Shonen Jump Advanced. The cover has Riful and Dauf standing it. The intended reader is someone who likes dark plots, high action, and strong female characters. There is mild foul language, no sexuality, and lots of violence in this book. The story is told from third person close of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- After finding herself mysteriously drawn to the lair of Riful of the West, Clare made contact with the fused form of Rafaele and Luciela, which Awakened and transformed into the terrible being know as the Destroyer, Now, the entire island of Lautrec is subject to its dreadful, relentless assault. It seems that nothing, and no one, can halt the devastation. but there may be one force that is greater still...

Review- As with the previous volume we pick right up where the last one left off. Riful is fighting one of the twins and she is losing but then the Destroyer makes one twin lose her mind. Priscilla makes the other twin lose it because she is just so dangerous. We get to see a lot of Priscilla being tougher and faster then everybody else and when Clare sees Priscilla, she almost fully Awakenings on the spot. Priscilla has stayed with Raki because in some way that he smelled like something she wanted remember and she has followed that smell to Clare. So Priscilla has been looking for Clare without knowing why and Clare cannot stop herself from fighting Priscilla. There is going to be much blood in the last eight volumes but I am curious about how Clare is going to defeat Priscilla when she is so much more powerful.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Lois Lane: Double Down

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Today's  post is on Lois Lane: Double Down by Gwenda Bond. It is the second in her Lois Lane trilogy. It is 382 pages long and is published by Switch Press. The cover is black and white with Lois' shadow in the background and her name in red at the top. The intended reader is someone who has read the first novel and likes Lois Lane. There is very mild foul language, no sex, and no violence in this book. The story is told from first person close of Lois. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Lois Lane has settled in to her new school. She has friends, for maybe the first time in her life. She has a job that challenges her. And her friendship is growing with SmallvilleGuy, her online maybe-more-than-a-friend. But when her friend Maddy’s twin collapses in a part of town she never should’ve been in, Lois finds herself embroiled in a dangerous mystery that brings her closer to the dirty underbelly of Metropolis.

Review- I loved the first book in this trilogy and I loved this one too. Lois is finally settling into her new life and having real friends for the first time. When she sees her friend's twin in trouble of course she is going to jump into it feet first. Lois is really starting to become the reporter that we know her to be and this story has all the earmarks of a great one. Clark is more present in this book from the first one as he and Lois are becoming closer and maybe more than just friends. Lois is growing over the course of these books, she is discovering herself outside of being a troublemaker, she has a strong sense of right and wrong, and she is going to do just about anything to make sure justice is served. Bond has done a great job of making these characters more modern without making them into different characters. I cannot wait to read the last one and I hope that Lois and Clark meet face to face in it.

I give this book a Five out of  Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.