Friday, November 17, 2017

The Creeping


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Today's post is on The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy. It is 387 pages long and is published by Simon & Schuster. The cover is grey scale picture of woods with a girl in a white dress in the tree looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes horror stories, young adult novels, and teen horror movies. There is mild foul language, implied sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told from first person of Stella. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Eleven years ago, Stella and Jeanie disappeared. Only Stella came back.
Now all she wants is a summer full of cove days, friends, and her gorgeous crush - until a fresh corpse leads Stella down a path of ancient evil and secrets.
Stella believes remembering what happened to Jeanie will save her. It won’t.
She used to know better than to believe in what slinks through the shadows. Not anymore.
 

Review- A creepy read about a girl who cannot remember what happened to her or who killed her friend.  Stella does not remember anything about the day that Jeanie disappeared. She wonders what Jeanie would be like if she was still alive but she has tried to move on with her life. But then on the night that Jeanie disappeared 10 year later at a party another red-haired girl is found murdered. This spurs Stella into action and she does discover that if you look for monsters, you will find them. I had a good time reading this book, it is like all my favorite teen horror movies but it has a happy ending, which is good in my opinion. Stella is a mean girl who grows so much over the course of the book. She goes from just wanting to be popular enough to keep up with her best friend to wanting to do whatever it takes to find the truth and be happy. I did not find this book to be very creepy but I did like the little chills it gave me. Siwory did a good job and I forwarding to reading another book by her.

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Man Who Made the Movies: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox

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I have been given a copy of this book by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.

Today's post is on The Man Who Made the Movies: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox by Vanda Krefft. It is 944 pages including notes and other research resources and it is published by Harper Collins.  The cover is a picture of William Fox. The intended reader is someone who likes forgotten history and old Hollywood. There is mild foul language, no sex. and, no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.


From the back of the book- A riveting story of ambition, greed, and genius unfolding at the dawn of modern America. This landmark biography brings into focus a fascinating brilliant entrepreneur—like Steve Jobs or Walt Disney, a true American visionary—who risked everything to realize his bold dream of a Hollywood empire.
Although a major Hollywood studio still bears William Fox’s name, the man himself has mostly been forgotten by history, even written off as a failure. Now, in this fascinating biography, Vanda Krefft corrects the record, explaining why Fox’s legacy is central to the history of Hollywood.
At the heart of William Fox’s life was the myth of the American Dream. His story intertwines the fate of the nineteenth-century immigrants who flooded into New York, the city’s vibrant and ruthless gilded age history, and the birth of America’s movie industry amid the dawn of the modern era. Drawing on a decade of original research, The Man Who Made the Movies offers a rich, compelling look at a complex man emblematic of his time, one of the most fascinating and formative eras in American history. 
Growing up in Lower East Side tenements, the eldest son of impoverished Hungarian immigrants, Fox began selling candy on the street. That entrepreneurial ambition eventually grew one small Brooklyn theater into a $300 million empire of deluxe studios and theaters that rivaled those of Adolph Zukor, Marcus Loew, and the Warner brothers, and launched stars such as Theda Bara. Amid the euphoric roaring twenties, the early movie moguls waged a fierce battle for control of their industry. A fearless risk-taker, Fox won and was hailed as a genius—until a confluence of circumstances, culminating with the 1929 stock market crash, led to his ruin.


Review- A fascinating biography about a man who helped movies become the cultural phenomenon that they are today. Krefft did excellent research for this biography and she pours all of her heart into this book; it shows. She helps us understand what drove William Fox and how it led to his downfall. William Fox was pushed into the role of provider for his whole family from the age of ten and that influenced the rest of his life.  He believed in his dream that the pictures could reach and help people to forget their troubles for a little while. Fox was driven to succeed and do just about anything to do so but he was an honorable man who loved and respected the law and justice. That was a major point in his movies. It was up-lifting to read about his successes but when the fall came it was truly tragic to read about. He  reached for everything and in the end he paid for it with everything. If old Hollywood and tragic lives are interesting to you then you should read this book.


I give this book a Four out of Five stars. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

QQ Sweeper volume 3


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Today's post is on QQ Sweeper volume 3 by Kyousuke Motomi. It is 192 pages long and is published by Shojo Beat. It is the third in her QQ Sweeper series, you need to have read the two volumes to understand what is going on. The cover is with with the two main characters on it. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo, cute characters, and an interesting world. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this volume. The story closely follows the main female character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- One day, Kyutaro Horikita, the tall, dark and handsome cleaning expert of Kurokado High, comes across a sleeping maiden named Fumi Nishioka at school... Unfortunately, their meeting is anything but a fairy-tale encounter! It turns out Kyutaro is a 'Sweeper" who cleans away negative energy from people's hearts-and Fumi is about to become his apprentice!
Fumi still has no memory of her past, but she begins to feel a sense of calm working and living with Kyutaro and his family of Sweepers. But when a Bug Handler goes after her, how will she overcome his dark manipulation? 


Review- A good end to a plot arc and an exciting beginning to a greater story. Fumi and Kyutaro discover that someone is hunting for her and Kyutaro discovers why. But Fumi does not know that she destined to be a Queen who can control others with her mind. She just knows that someone tried to kill her friend. She does save the day and Kyutaro is going to be her knight to help her but with lots of big plots questions all around, I am very excited for the next series Queen's Qaulity to start. The art is good, the characters are growing and changing as the plot goes and plot is growing in a natural way. This series was very good and I repeat myself but I am looking forward to meeting them again soon.

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, November 10, 2017

Dark Witch


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Today's post is on Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. It is the first in her The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy. It is 342 pages long and is published by Berkley. The cover is a beautiful picture of a house. The intended reader is someone who likes urban fantasy and romance. There is mild foul language, sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told from third person close of the characters moving from one to the next as the story goes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.
Ireland.
County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.
Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.
When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horseman, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.
Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…
 

Review- A fast-paced love story with realistic characters in a urban fantasy plot. The magic of this world is cool but it gets no explanation about how it works. It is very much, magic works because it works. Iona does not know about her magic until she goes to Ireland. She knows that she has a special connection with horses but nothing more. But it goes far deeper than that and we get our plot of stopping an old, powerful sorcerer that caused all the problems to begin with. The love story is of course the point and I liked the main couple. Boyle is a little slow on the up-take but he gets it right in the end. Iona is a little fast about getting everything she ever wanted from family to horses to true love but she learns that somethings just take time. I am interested in where the story is going to from here and I hope to learn more about the Big Bad.

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

Monday, November 6, 2017

Claymore volume 4: Marked for Death


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Today's post is on Claymore volume 4: Marked for Death by Norihiro Yagi. It is the fourth in the long running Claymore series, you need to have read the three volumes to understand the story. It is 189 pages long and is published by Shonen Jump Advanced. The cover has Clare and Teresa in an action scene from the volume. 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- Teresa, a powerful Claymore, saves a young girl from her bandit captors and leaves the child in the care of some villagers. But triumph quickly gives way to despair when the situation takes a tragic turn, and Teresa is forced to kill a human--an act that will condemn her to death at the hands of her own kind.

Review- Lots of action in this volume from Teresa killing all the bandits in the first half to Claymore versus Claymore in the second. Teresa kills a Yoma that was scaring away the bandits that she had fought with earlier and they descend on the village and kill everyone but Clare. They have plans for her because of Teresa. Teresa goes back to stop the bandits but she is far too late. In her rage at what they had done, she kills them all. So Teresa and Clare are on the run together. The people that run the Claymores' send others after Teresa but she is the best for a reason so they send a group of five after them. Teresa is a great character and I like seeing where Clare came from but I know that it will not end well but what the real cost will be I am not sure. The art is great in the series showing us what is going on without getting too gory. More Action and Drama Ahead.

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

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Killer Plot


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Today's post is on A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams. It is 313 pages long and is published by Berkely. It is the first in her Books by the Bay Mysteries. The cover is a pretty picture of a lighthouse with a big dog on the front. The intended reader is someone who likes cozy mysteries, fun plots, and cute characters. There is mild foul language, no sex, and no 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- In the small coastal town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina, you'll find plenty of characters, ne'er-do-wells, and even a few celebs trying to duck the paparazzi. But when murder joins this curious community, the Bayside Book Writers are there to get the story... 
Olivia Limoges is the subject of constant gossip. Ever since she came back to town-a return as mysterious as her departure-Olivia has kept to herself, her dog, and her unfinished novel. With a little cajoling from the eminently charming writer Camden Ford, she agrees to join the Bayside Book Writers, break her writer's block, and even make a few friends...
But when townspeople start turning up dead with haiku poems left by the bodies, anyone with a flair for language is suddenly suspect. And it's up to Olivia to catch the killer before she meets her own surprise ending.

Review- A cute cozy start to a cozy mystery series. The setting was really great for this series and I liked that Olivia is not an easy character. I liked that she was unfriendly at times, that she was difficult, and that she a loner; I enjoyed her. The other characters were good too adding to the story because they were so different from Olivia. I look forward to getting to know them in the series as we go along. The mystery is good with lots of plot twists and I did not guess the villain but I was just so busy enjoying the story that I wanted to be surprised and I was. Not perfect with some small plot holes and thin characters for some of the background characters but I still had a really good time with this novel.

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

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Bold and Dangerous: The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism

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I was given a copy of this book by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.

Today's Nonfiction post is on A Bold and Dangerous: The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism by Carolyn Moorehead. It is 432 pages long and is published by Harper Collins. The cover is a picture is three figures, one woman and two men, walking away from the camera. The intended reader is someone who likes World War 2 history. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Members of the cosmopolitan, cultural aristocracy of Florence at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Rosselli family, led by their fierce matriarch, Amelia, were vocal anti-fascists. As populist, right-wing nationalism swept across Europe after World War I, and Italy’s Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini, began consolidating his power, Amelia’s sons Carlo and Nello led the opposition, taking a public stand against Il Duce that few others in their elite class dared risk. When Mussolini established a terrifying and brutal police state controlled by his Blackshirts—the squaddristi—the Rossellis and their anti-fascist circle were transformed into active resisters.
In retaliation, many of the anti-fascists were arrested and imprisoned; others left the country to escape a similar fate. Tragically, Carlo and Nello were eventually assassinated by Mussolini’s secret service. After Italy entered World War II in June 1940, Amelia, thanks to visas arranged by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt herself, fled to New York City with the remaining members of her family.
Renowned historian Caroline Moorehead paints an indelible picture of Italy in the first half of the twentieth century, offering an intimate account of the rise of Il Duce and his squaddristi; life in Mussolini’s penal colonies; the shocking ambivalence and complicity of many prominent Italian families seduced by Mussolini’s promises; and the bold, fractured resistance movement whose associates sacrificed their lives to fight fascism. In A Bold and Dangerous Family, Moorehead once again pays tribute to heroes who fought to uphold our humanity during one of history’s darkest chapters.


Review- I have read other books by Moorehead and have really enjoyed them but this one falls flat for me. I cannot tell you why this story does not work for me. The story itself should be interesting but I just never connected with the story or the characters. As usual with Moorehead the research is excellent, with full details, and lots of first hand documents and interviews when she can get them. We move from Amelia's childhood all the way to her death with lots of details about her life and the lives of her sons. If you are very interested in Italian history during the rise of Fascism and the people who fought it then you may enjoy this book but if not try another of Mooreheads' work.

I give this book a Two out of Five stars.