Happily drowning in books

β€œPeople say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” -Logan Pearsall Smith

Review: Insidious

Title: Insidious

Author: Victoria Evers

Rating: fivestars

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I recieved a free copy of this book in return for my honest review πŸ™‚

Mystic Harbor is just like any other Maine town. But not all is as it seems. Beneath the sleepy exterior of this place, a deadly paranormal war is being waged. When Kat Montgomery is caught in an accident one night, she finds herself caught up in a world of magic, power, and danger that she never dreamed possible. All she has to do is survive.

I had never heard of Insidious before I started it, which was nice because I went in with no expectations. And let me just say, that this book absolutely blew me away. I was sucked into the story right from the first chapter and was kept riveted throughout the entire 400+ pages. I had to keep reminding myself that this is Victoria Evers’ first novel, because she writes like a dream. The pacing was perfect; there was just the perfect amount of action and worldbuilding that it didn’t drag at all. I loved the characters, especially Kat. She just seemed absolutely so real and down to earth, despite all the crazy paranormal stuff that was going on around her. She is definatley someone I would love to hang out with! And my favorite aspect of the story was actually the mythos surrounding the Revenants. I won’t go into too much detail, because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but honestly it was such an intriguing background and description of the magic and how it worked that I am almost desperate to read the next book in the series.

I actually enjoyed this book so much that I am considering purchasing a physical copy in addition to the ebook version that I recieved. I plan on reading and enjoying it again and again!

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Review: Fahrenheit 451

Title: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Rating: fivestars

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“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.”

Guy Montag is a fireman. But he doesn’t put out fires, instead he IGNITES fires. Books are illegal in this futuristic society, and owning books and failing to comply with the law will result in not only the books being burned but your house and you as well. Guy doesn’t know any other life, but when he meets his new neighbor Clarisse, who opens his eyes to a whole new way of viewing things, he knows he can never go back to the way things were before.

“It was a pleasure to burn.”

I read this book in high school, it was required reading for sophomores. I remember enjoying it, but not really GETTING it, if that makes sense. I just picked it up again and was really struck by how much it affected me this time around. I love Ray Bradbury’s work; he writes with such precision and beauty and his stories are always so full of integrity without being preachy. This book, short as it is, is no exception. It is a terrifying scenario (particularly given the recent turn of events with the current election) which doesn’t seem too far out of the realm of possibilities, which is even scarier. Just trying to imagine a world without books is horrific! But even given the nightmarish quality of the story, it is a very enjoyable read!

The old man nodded. “Those who don’t build must burn. It’s as old as history and juvenile delinquents.”
“So that’s what I am.”
“There’s some of it in all of us.”

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Review: This Side of Paradise

Title: This Side of Paradise

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rating: fivestars

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He stretched out his arms to the crystalline, radiant sky.
“I know myself,” he cried, “But that is all.”

I don’t know about you, but I just simply ADORE the jazz age. All that alcohol, all that music, all that raunchiness. It’s pure decadence. This book, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first book, is a love letter to this time period. He charts the life of young Amory Blaine as he traverses through college and a number of romances. Even though this story takes place decades ago, it has elements that one can relate to even in this day and age. Plus, Scott’s writing is just fun! There’s something for everyone to enjoy here! πŸ˜‰

β€œI’m a slave to my emotions, to my likes, to my hatred of boredom, to most of my desires.”

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Review: The Trespasser

Title: The Trespasser

Author: Tana French

Rating: fivestars

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β€œNo one needs a relationship. What you need is the basic cop-on to figure that out, in the face of all the media bullshit screaming that you’re nothing on your own and you’re a dangerous freak if you disagree. The truth is, if you don’t exist without someone else, you don’t exist at all. And that doesn’t just go for romance. I love my ma, I love my friends, I love the bones of them. If any of them wanted me to donate a kidney or crack a few heads, I’d do it, no questions asked. And if they all waved good-bye and walked out of my life tomorrow, I’d still be the same person I am today.”

Tana French has done it again. I fell head over heels in love with her writing from the moment I read her first book in Dublin Murder Squad series, and here she is, five books later, and she hasn’t lost her edge. In fact, she’s sharpened it. The lady just knows how people tick; what they’re thinking, their loves and hates, their motivations, ALL of it. But this book is more than just an intricately woven narrative about a murder and the people who solve it. Her language is just so beautiful and human. It makes you feel as if you are a part of the story, as if you know the characters intimately. Plus her twists are always amazing and I never see them coming!

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Review: Bird Box

Title: Bird Box

Author: Josh Malerman

Rating: fivestars

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Something is causing people all around the world to commit atrocious acts of violence against themselves and others. No one knows what it is. No one knows where it came from. No one knows how to stop it. All anyone knows is that one glimpse of…whatever it is…will make you go insane. So don’t look out your window. Don’t go outside. And most of all…don’t look.

This was one helluva scary book! I didn’t know what to expect when I picked it up, but what I got was a heart-pounding, nose-against-the-page, thriller! Parts of it were a bit confusing, because the story kept going back and forth from the past to the present, but that really just added to the suspense and didn’t detract from it at all. Everything about this book was enjoyable and scary!

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Book Review: Void

Title: Void

Author: David Staniforth

Rating: fivestars

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Have all of us got repressed memories? Do we all invent alternate realities that somehow allow us to cope? If we do, how would we know?

A man wakes up inside of a car one cold, wintery morning. He has no idea who he is. He has no idea where he’s from. He has no idea what he’s doing there. All he has is a journal in the glove compartment which provides some clues as to who he is. He is left with just his wits and this journal to help him bring together the pieces of his past so he can continue on to his future.

I’ve always loved David Staniforth’s work. Many writers have one genre that they stick to and can handle well. David has that rare ability to traverse through multiple genres and write all of them exquisitely. This is the second thriller I have read that he’s written, and the suspense blew me away! Right from the beginning the book grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the very last page. I found myself riveted by the mystery of not only Tom’s past, but of Penny’s as well. That was the other aspect of the story that I absolutely loved. The characters (all of them, not just Tom) were really well rounded and complex. It made for such an intriguing read.

As always, it was an extreme pleasure to read Mr. Staniforth’s work, and I look forward to many more amazing books in the future!

I received a free copy of this book in return for my honest review. Thanks David! πŸ™‚

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Review: Environmentally Friendly

Title: Environmentally Friendly

Author: Elias Zanbaka

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I received this copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.

A mysterious patient has escaped from an even more mysterious psychiatric facility and is wreaking havoc on Los Angelo’s. Armed with a flamethrower and a chainsaw, he thwarts and overpowers the impressive manpower of the LAPD as he seeks to quench his rage on one of the most unlikely targets of all….Mother Nature.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I began this short story. I was intrigued by the description and it grabbed hold of my attention right from the start and kept my mind engaged even after I had finished. Who was this mysterious assailant? Why was he trying to destroy Mother Nature? What was the history of the facility where he was being kept? So many questions that piqued my interest! I also loved the amount of description the author used, as it made me feel as if I were a part of the story even without a thorough background. I only wish it had been longer, I didn’t want it to end! I would love to see a few more short stories maybe centered on what led up to this point.

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Review: A Moveable Feast

Title: A Moveable Feast

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Rating: fivestars

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“You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.”

Ernest Hemingway is one of those authors that people seem to either love or hate. There isn’t any in between. I happen to be one of the former. πŸ™‚ Which is probably odd, given that my favorite author is Virginia Woolf, who delights in long, beautifully descriptive and emotional writing. Good old Hem is the exact opposite. He writes in short, declarative sentences that are hard hitting and get right to the point. But you know what? Sometimes that can be kind of refreshing. This book is technically not a ‘book’ per se. It’s a collection of writings that Hemingway wrote about his experiences in Paris during the 1920’s. It features his friendships with other literary geniuses such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It also details some of his personal writing quirks and a lot of beautiful descriptions of Paris itself.

This book is incredible. I loved reading about famous Parisian bookstores like Shakespeare and Company, and the cafes and places that Hem loved to frequent. This book was an inside glance in his brilliant mind, which if you are a fan, is a beautiful thing!

“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know…”

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Review: A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Thus Far

Title: A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Thus Far

Author: Adrienne Rich

Rating: fivestars

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“The strongest reason
for giving woman all the opportunities
for higher education, for the full
development of her forces of mind and body…
the most enlarged freedom of thought and action
a complete emancipation
from all the crippling influences of fear-
is the solitude and personal
of her own individual life.”

For a long time, a very long time in fact, my favorite poet was D.H. Lawrence. When I was nineteen, I remember reading the poem ‘Medlars and Sorb Apples’ and just completely and utterly fell in love with his writing, his way of describing things, his words. (And if you love poetry, actually go read this poem. It’s delicious and sinful!) He remained lodged in the number one spot in my heart for over ten years…until reading the poetry of Adrienne Rich. Her strong and intense writing style, mixed lavishly with drop dead gorgeous prose and utterly heartrending emotion just swept me away. And I instantly and forever changed my favorite poet status to Adrienne Rich! πŸ˜‰

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Review: Supergirl, Volume 1

Title: Supergirl Volume One

Author: Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, Ian Churchill, and Norm rapmund

Rating: fivestars

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I love Supergirl, but was not a huge fan of the New52 version of the character, so I wanted to go back an read some earlier work which featured her. I love this edition! A lot of comics try and overdo the innocence and naivety of Supergirl, which can get very tiresome. And while this comic does show her emotional side, it does so while giving her complex emotions and feelings that you can relate to, rather than rolling your eyes the whole time. Plus she’s a badass, and not afraid of letting people know it, which made me really happy as well. πŸ™‚

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