The Non-Refundable Type of Gifts (A Gift of Magic – A Book Review)

A Gift of Magic
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1999

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Rated T for three kids inheriting shit from grandma they shouldn’t have.

 

Nancy can do things no one else can…

When grandma was dying she told Elizabeth that she had three gifts for her grandchildren. Now, after a divorce, Elizabeth and her children come back to her hometown to her grandmother’s house. While she’s struggling to find a sense of normalcy, her three kids are fully coming into the three gifts promised to them. One of them, specifically given to Nancy, is special and will turn her life upside down. It’s the gift of magic.

 

Lois Duncan always delivers. A master and classic writer of not only suspense that doesn’t put me to sleep but also supernatural and/or slasher-y. She really keeps my attention and her writing is engaging. This one is no different.

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Pintrest

There is a lot going on! Maybe too much. From dealing with the effects of Nancy dealing with her family splitting up, there’s also the pressures of childhood and the unique, scary, and supernatural themes that become obsessive. The book was good but there was too much happening to keep track of it all compared to the other Duncan books I’ve read. The focus was…well, there wasn’t much focus on anything. Each individual struggle seemed so separate, though it’s understood that the theme is the discovery of independence. But, trying to keep track of each character didn’t go well for me.

The setting was meant to be. Being in a beach town even though it seemed gray was beautiful. It just gave me some throwback time. Very nice and nostalgic and longing and perfect for the story itself, like (and I know this is cheesy) the place was made for it.

 

Overall

A bit all over, but a good story nonetheless. Duncan really went into the complication and construction of family and not just in the touchy-feely part but in the ways family works (if that makes sense). I also always appreciate that she makes her books quick reads. On the shelf you go!

 

Quotables:

“…You must learn if you accept it. A gift is nothing unless it’s used…” (grandma to Nancy, p. 135)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Tomorrow Never Knows by Our Lady Peace.

 

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The Goblin From Outer Space (E. T. – A Book Review)

E. T. – The Extra-Terrestrial in his adventure on earth (E. T. #1)
Author: William Kotzwinkle
Published: 1982

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for silly and sneaky as a lost alien searches for a way home and discovers a new family.

 

He was alone and three million light-years from home.

Based on the screenplay for the groundbreaking film, this book brings the movie home with the personal journey and special connection of E. T., an alien botanist stranded on earth and Eliot, the boy he befriends.

 

Overall tagline? Don’t peek in windows. LOL. For E. T., getting too curious for his own good got him stranded on a planet he’s only visited to help find ways to protect plant-life. He’s such a character! Very funny. My favorite thing about him has to be how he crushes so hard on Eliot’s mum.

Side Note: Maybe it’ll pique your interest, who knows, but there are talking plants in this book and it was so effing adorable.

The characters are filled with the silliness they have in the movie. However, the mum irked me to no end! Mum’s are pains in the butt (with love), but Eliot’s mum was off the wall. There wasn’t a second she thought a loving thing. That’s just my opinion. It nearly comes off that she wished she never had kids. That and she has perverts on the brain LOL. Like, what?

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All around a fun novel to read. Definitely one for the imagination. The storytelling makes for fast reading. I didn’t feel anything in the emotional department though. It was nifty and entertaining but not memorable.

 

Overall

Entertaining and cute. Not really a favorite, but I’m glad I got to read this. There was more to this than what was in the movie. Definitely going up on my classics shelf. Worth a read for sci-fi lovers and lovers of the movie and lovers of the cute, simple adventure.

 

Quotables:

“E. T. was in the whirling vortex of gravitational force. His dream of Earth-Life, and his dream of starshine, was over. His sun was the black sun now. And all because he couldn’t resist…peeking in windows…” (p. 209)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Moonlight by Thriving Ivory.

 

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The Zombicide Squad (Zom-B: Angels – A Book Review)

Zom-B: Angels (Zom-B #4)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

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My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated G for game-changing 

 

After spending the last few months wandering around London…

B Smith had given up hope that she’d find salvation until she discovered graffiti that leads her to the Angels led by Dr. Oystein, a revived that’s been around for a century. He sheds light on her new life that changed everything. The arrival of old acquaintances and discovering the Angels’ purpose throw her off and make her question if this place is really for her.

 

Zom-B Reviews

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The game changes up for B as she finds herself in the company of more reviveds. A special group put together across the world after it became overrun with the dead. This Dr. Oystein is a very strange scientist that believes God put him on a mission to defeat the evil Mr. Dowling AKA Clown from Hell.

This was a loaded chapter in the zombie life of B. More science and a twisted bomb drop that left seriously disturbed. Disturbed enough that I am once again looking forward to continuing the story. The gore isn’t as much in this chapter, but the progression of B’s story is quite intriguing. She’s finding more and more in this new undead life of hers.

Reilly and Rage (Underground) return and B gets mixed feelings about it. I really liked that they came back into the story, especially because they were a part of something so horrific. Not only is B getting an opportunity to work on being forgiving, but like her, these guys get a second chance like her. The dynamic is almost like a circle. A wonky one. It’s one of my favorite things about this book.

The new setting is intriguing. Rather than B being locked up, she’s brought into a circle of togetherness and teamwork. It brought forth diversity and the chance to talk about it and bring up subjects like religion and race and color. Even in such a dark time and place, I’m intrigued that it’s still present and that it can be talked about. B is learning and making that change that she really wants.

 

Overall

I’m officially curious and look forward to the next book. Still not on my favorites shelf but I’m all for a good vs evil story. With B on the fence and struggling with herself in a very realistic light, I’m curious to see how it ends.

 

Quotables:

“I am a scientist and teacher. A sinner and gentleman. A killer would-be savior. And, if you will do me the great honor, I would like to be your friend.” (Dr. Oystein to B, p. 5)

“Just step outside and look around if you do not believe that. As a people, we offended our creator and turned on our like jackals.  We soiled this world. Was the plague of zombies a harsh judgment? Perhaps. But unfair? I think not.” (Dr. Oystein, p. 167)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Headstrong by Trapt.

 

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Day Shift – A Book Review)

Day Shift (Midnight Texas #2)

Author: Charlaine Harris

Published: 2015

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated U for going undercover to get rid of the annoying people on your lawn.

 

There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas.

Reporters flood Midnight after one of Manfred’s clients, a wealthy widow, dies during a séance. Accused of being a thief, his reputation is at stake. Olivia and Manfred team up to figure out how to keep his reputation intact and keep Midnight safe. In the process, unexpected secrets come to light.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Midnight Hotel just reopened. Acting as a temporary residence for the elderly waiting on openings in livings centers and a place for commuters on temporary jobs. It seems like Midnight’s population just grew.

 

The Midnight, Texas trilogy is a part of my New Year’s resolution and this is 2 of 3.

 

MC - amazon

Amazon

Midnight Crossroad review – here

 

The cute and supernatural town of Midnight gets a little more exciting as the Midnight Hotel opens and a were-tiger comes to town. New drama and new characters bring new adventures. Olivia gets her assassin on in this book and has a little too much fun
(as if there was such a thing). I love her sass. She’s such a badass. I also like that she does show that things bother her. While this series still comes across a little too vague for me, I really enjoyed it. She really stood out in this book. It was her time to shine. Even more, she teamed up with Manfred and thus one of my favorite bromances came into being on the page. I loved them teaming up in the show and seeing it the books makes me geek out hard.

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Many little seeds planted in the book seem to be getting ready to bloom and I look forward to the final book to see what comes of them!

Barry of True Blood had a cameo! I had heard he did and it was one of the teeny reasons I was excited to read the books. He got his own storyline and got to give all Sookie Stackhouse fans a squee of joy. It’s just too bad he couldn’t find a home in Midnight. I’ve always believed that Barry was one of the most underrated characters. I wish he had his own book series. He’s such an interesting character.

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This community feel is one I love so much. Midnight is quaint and cute and just the norm that I think people wish they had in their own towns. I still wish it was more rewarding in its details. I’m being stickler about it and I don’t care. I also don’t care that I’m sounding greedy. There just wasn’t enough for me to feel deathly attached. If any of these characters dropped dead I wouldn’t really care and that’s a bummer. No, that’s a lie. I’d feel bad if Mr. Snuggly died, and I hate cats. He’s just sarcastic and funny.

 

Overall

Still a delight to read. Very humble and sweet. This is a town I’d love to live in. I still feel like while I’m getting beautiful imagery, I’m not getting enough from the characters. But, like many people in the real world, they have their secrets. It makes it relatable, hard to care about sadly. I can’t wait to read the final book. And yes, I’ll say it again, BARRY DESERVES HIS OWN BOOK(S).

 

Quotables:

“Manfred reminded himself that while his car was humble, it was paid for, that he didn’t need a house, and that adding a room to the lawyer’s house was better than being in jail.” (p. 150)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Bright Lights by Matchbox Twenty.

 

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Two For One Special (Lothaire – A Book Review)

Lothaire (Immortals After Dark #12)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2012

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My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated D for domineering, douchy, dreadful vampires that are over-sexed.

 

All fear the enemy of old

A deadly force dwells within her

Centuries of cold indifference shattered

Driven by revenge and desperation, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, Lothaire, has plans to take the Horde’s crown, but not until he’s found his bride. Ellie Peirce grew up in Appalachia but always wanted a better life for herself. Getting possessed by a goddess was not what she meant. Now in the clutches of Lothaire and his demands, Ellie comes up with a devious plan to get free.

As Lothaire searches for the magical relic that will help him and his goddess be together he begins to wonder if she truly is his bride that was promised to him. But that’s impossible. He despises humans and swore to never fall for one. He battles his emotions, struggling to figure out who he’ll choose.

 

I am a BIG fan of Kresley Cole. Massive! I’m head over heels for her Arcana Chronicles series. I saw this in the bookstore and went for it. I couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for me. Not going to lie, I got major True Blood vibes, guys.

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Vampires! Love’em. Hate’em. They play a major part in stories. I love them. From Dracula to Twilight. There’s always something new brought to the mythos of the creature of the night. This one wasn’t up there for me though. I’m all for lusty fun. But this breached the kind of thing that isn’t fun and that’s when a person is being treated like an imprisoned object to be thrown aside. Because I couldn’t get past that I couldn’t fully get into the story sadly.

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While the story spans the life of an ancient vampire, the story was fast-paced. I love the way Cole can write like that. She keeps me on the edge of my seat and the pages turning fast. I loved how she could turn this on its head so fast. One moment there’s a fight for survival happening and the next the throes of heavy lusty sex are making me breathless. Like, whoa.

 

Overall

It’s not a bad read. Not at all. This just wasn’t my scene. Obsessive is cute. So is possessive. But, there’s a line to be drawn and not crossed for me. And it crossed, therefore, crossing this book from my like list. I mean, Ellie was sassy, but Lothaire was incredibly overpowering and disgusting. I can’t get over how he was. If you liked this book then awesomesauce. Just not for me.

 

Quotables:

“Life in every cursed drop.” (p. 261)

“I’m twenty-four years old. I’ve spent more than twenty percent of my life on death row. And I’ve still known more happiness in my short life than you have in your unending one.” (p. 295)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Bad Things by Jace Everett.

 

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Dream Wasteland (Dreamfall – A Book Review)

Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)
Author: Amy Plum
Published: 2017

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for seven teenagers that sought out help but were absolutely screwed instead.

 

They wanted dreams.

What they got were nightmares.

Taking part in an experimental procedure, seven kids hope to get past their sleeping disorders. Instead, they get stuck in their worst nightmares after an earthquake shakes the institution while in the midst of it. Now, they must work together if they hope to wake up. But, there is deceit among them, and monsters lurk in the dark. Can they make it out of Dreamfall or will they be stuck in their nightmares forever?

 

Cata, Fergus, and Jaime come in from different angle of this experiment gone wrong and it is a true nightmare. Usually sleep is supposed to be this place where you can rest and get some inner stuff worked out, but in this case not so much. That made this story pretty unique. Three different characters with three different positions. It brought so much more to the story. And the twists were compelling. Everybody has secrets, some worse than others.

However, I didn’t feel very attached to the characters. I don’t know why. Just didn’t happen. That was about the only downside for me.

This was a fascinating read! While I didn’t get any heebie-jeebies, I was really enthralled with what made up these nightmares for the subjects. The disorders they had and their backstories made this a compelling read. So, while I wasn’t on the entertained side of the spectrum with this book, I was definitely on the intrigued side and that is just as good for me. Plus, you always think your safe in your dream. HA!

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The entire dreamscape was an ever-shifting enigma. I can’t imagine what it was like writing it. I mystified and blown away a good bit. She captured these minds in such a crazy way.

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Oh wait! There was a part that horrified me! The fecking clowns!!! Why are there always clowns! *shudder*

 

Overall

So, a good read, but not a favorite. I enjoyed it enough that I look forward to the next book. The unexpected twists have me yearning to see what comes next. I’m sure it’s even wilder and more unexpected. I hope so.

 

Quotables:

“Whether this right now is a dream or not, it doesn’t matter. We’re no longer in the ‘outside world’. We’re somewhere else.” (George, p. 67)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson.

 

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Secrets Among Honesty (Midnight Crossroad – A Book Review)

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Published: 2014

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated

 

You might pass through the town of Midnight without noticing it, if there weren’t a stoplight at the intersection of Witch Light Road and the Davy highway.

Such a small town with many boarded-up windows and curious inhabitants, Manfred Bernardo is its newest resident. Moving into the open place beside the pawnshop, Manfred is welcomed by everyone, even after he tells them he’s a psychic. He discovers quickly that he’s going to fit in just perfectly. As perfect as it can go with a vampire neighbor and a witch who lives across the street.

Then the pawnshop’s owner, Bobo is thrown into rough waters when his girlfriend turns up dead. Manfred and the rest of the town step in to help figure out who did it. Several secrets come to light, but so many more still hide under the surface of Midnight.

 

The Midnight, Texas trilogy is a part of my New Year’s resolution and this is 1 of 3.

 

This is my first time reading from Harris and I really enjoy her books. There’s something light and down to earth about them. I’m still collecting her Sookie Stackhouse novels so I won’t be able to get to those anytime soon. But, I’m glad to have this trilogy to get my taste into Harris’s supernatural world.

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There is such a wide range of characters. They’re all special and unique and given attention and I like that. It made all of Midnight important. I love a good community that can rally together. However, I wish it could’ve gotten more personal with the characters. Because I didn’t know enough about them I couldn’t get attached to them. I like trying to figure out what makes characters so mysterious, but this verged on vague and disinterest that pushed them toward not important.

The energy of this book was at a comfortable hum. It just felt like a day in the neighborhood which is super nifty. I felt I was resident in this dry, supernatural town. Loved it! The best bit has to be how steady the storytelling is. Just day to day without rush. These are the lives of the Midnighters.

I will be a little grumpy here and say that I can’t believe it took so long for the cat to talk! Like holy cow! Having seen the show, I found Mr. Snuggly to be so entertaining. I am glad he wasn’t just added in and is a part of the trilogy. Such a bonus!

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Overall

While this doesn’t quite make it to my favorites shelf, I am definitely keeping it. It’s a beautiful book. I swear it’s like it’s filled with kindness and normalness for the supernatural. They’re just living the normal life like us. Plus, the cover art is gorgeous.

 

Quotables:

“You people who live in Midnight. You’re all marching to the beat of a different drummer.” (Arthur to Bobo, p. 160)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Midnight by Emily Thomas.

 

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