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

On Goodreads

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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

On Goodreads

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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

On Goodreads

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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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Weaving Across Europe (Shadow of Night – A Book Review)

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for witchy time-tampering and tinkering.

 

In every ending there is a new beginning.

Diana and Matthew’s timewalk to Elizabethan London is a success. There, they meet more of Matthew’s friends and family, including his father who isn’t alive in their time. While the two move across England searching for a witch that can help Diana reach her full potential as a witch, they also discover they have a shot at seeing the Book of Life in its entirety.

They are quickly drawn into the world of the past, the historian in Diana living in a dream come true while Matthew tries to fix things he didn’t during this time. Caught up in the times, the two must be careful, for their actions may have consequences in the future. And where there is shadow there is light.

 

The All Souls Trilogy is a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 2 of 3.

 

This story only gets better and better! I’m not much of a history buff, but this time travel was amazing! Harkness didn’t spare a single detail. I was utterly beguiled by the scenery and magic. It was so beautiful! From the dangerous encounters to all of the magic to the true love and endearing family, I am just so here for it. Meeting Phillipe, Matthew’s father, and Gallowglass, his nephew, was among my favorite! For vampires, they’re so lively and their loyalty was unyielding. Such admirable characters once again.

Side Note: They’re terrible at keeping secret that they’re from the future. LOL.

There were so many new characters! I was so excited. There were also some familiar ones like Christopher Marlowe, who by the way was an utter douchebag. Brilliant mind! Evil little snit. Many others of history made a cameo and it was so beautiful interwoven with this magical story.

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Matthew and Diana’s love still has me mesmerized. It’s complicated and tail-spinning and surprising. They’re unconventional and there’s the struggle of finding equal partnership as well as being able to let each other into each other’s lives. Of course, there were times I shook my head because they could get super lovey-dovey and it would come off strong and maybe a little cheesy. Diana and Matthew are such strong characters and put a lot of faith in one another. The obstacles they face in this book are mainly themselves and allowing themselves to open up and not let their faults get in the way of how they feel and to accept and move past these faults. My emotions were a-stirrin’.

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Overall

This trilogy has dragged me in further and further. Just complex and original. As such an avid lover of the paranormal, I’d started to wonder if I’d read and seen everything magic had to offer. This trilogy still blows me out of the water! Harkness’s way with words is poetic and filled with splendor. Also, I’ve caught the sneak peeks of season 2 of A Discovery of Witches on Twitter and I am so effing EXCITED!!!! I recommend all of it; the show and the books.

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Quotables:

“Giving a woman your whole life is meaningless without giving her your whole heart as well. You should pay more attention to the conclusion of that love token, not just the beginning.” (Phillipe to Matthew, p. 113)

“Mark me well, Diana: Lives will be lost because of your love for my son. Some will sacrifice themselves. Others will die because someone must, and it will be for you to decide if it is you or them or someone you love…” (Phillipe to Diana, p. 160)

“Whoever could have imagined that the lost Book of Life would stink to high heaven of death?” (p. 462)

“After all my searching, I discover that I am who I always was: Matthew de Clermont. Husband. Father. Vampire. And I am here for only one reason: To make a difference.” (Matthew to Diana, p. 469)

“Nightmares are like Master Harriot’s star glass. They are a trick of the light, one that makes something distant seem closer and larger than it really is.” (Matthew to Jack, p. 552)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Way Down We Go by Kaleo.

 

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B’s Z-demption Begins (Zom-B: Underground – A Book Review)

Zom-B: Underground (Zom-B #2)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

Rated U for unwanted undead teenagers with a whole lot of hungry angst.

 

Can you hold on to your humanity if you’re a monster?

In the next chapter of B’s life—or rather, undead life—she awakens in some underground facility where zombies are being filtered to see which ones are regaining their consciousness and which ones aren’t. Those who do are the lucky ones.

After getting the lowdown on what life is about to be like as one of the undead, B then meets others like her, also known as zom-heads. Not everything is as it seems and B is still determined to make amends and lead a life of doing the right thing. But, it takes time to get it right.

The series in review:

Zom-B: Review

 

Shan moves right into the next part for B. Her life didn’t end when she became a zombie. Well, it actually did, but she’s back, and ready to turn over a new leaf. Easier said than done though, especially when you’re undead. This new place isn’t so didn’t from her old one. The scientists studying her and using her, as well as her fellow zom-heads, only for their own benefit. She isn’t allowed to pass go, collect $200 or even roll for doubles to get her freedom. She is their latest plaything and B doesn’t like being anybody’s plaything.

The new big bad isn’t the undead, though they’re still a pain, it’s the scientists looking to weaponize the undead. Humanity in one of its lowest forms. Sucks pretty hard. It really did turn it around, making zombies seem like the hero—anti-hero, really—while humans are the big bad. That’s one hell of a switch-up.

This installment, like the last, is short but jam-packed. The scene illustrations really add to the imagery and really gave me that graphic novel feel. It was fun! The writing remains gritty and bloody, if not a little bit more than before. From time to time, the story felt like it dragged a little, but not enough that it took away from the story-telling. Every book gets its moment that has a lull.

I have to say, the best thing about this book is getting the unique POV of a zombie. It’s unique, gory, and enticing rather than some brainless adventure. This is definitely one of the major things that keeps me drawn to this series. It completely turns this story on its head. Everything changed for B because she’s dead. Nothing will ever be the same, but even in this undead life she seeks redemption and that’s a long road.

 

Overall

I’m still reading these books. While they come out as more of a light read over something dense and detail-driven, they’re still interesting because of the main character, who I still hate. LOL. So, I look forward to the next chapter to see what’s next for B after her time underground. Maybe she’ll run into some old friends…or enemies.

 

Quotables:

“So I’ve turned into a big bad wolf/ All the better to see, hear and smell you with, my day.” (B, p. 37)

“There are a lot of black-hearted, mean-spirited bastards in the world. It’s important that we hold them to account. Butt always remember that you might be the most black-hearted and mean-spirited of the lot, so hold yourself the most accountable of all.” (Mr. Burke to B, p. 44)

“Real loneliness is when your dad beats up your mum and you’re lying in your bedroom, listening to her weep in the room next door, and it feels like the whole world’s against you.” (p.71)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Berzerk by Eminem,

 

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Zombies on a School Day (Zom-B – A Book Review)

Zom-B (Zom-B #1)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated R for a revolting, racist kid who decided to find redemption in the zombie apocalypse.

 

The news outbreaks of zombie attacks across the world have to be a joke, right? That’s what B thinks. Then suddenly school turns into a zone of blood, guts and the walking dead. B is forced to allegiances with the nearest person, not undead. There are no friends or enemies. Just whoever and whatever it takes to stay alive. But, one regrettable move will make B rethink life completely.

 

I got a handful of these books because I was curious. Also, they were relatively inexpensive. Who doesn’t love a good zombie book?

Right out of the gate I was surprised. I don’t like the main character. In fact, B is outright horrible and knows it too! However, she comes out of a household of domestic abuse and in some cases, it trickles down to the children. It’s sad but true. I do like that it was given such a personal POV. I do admire that B soon realizes she doesn’t want to be the racist bully at all. Soon enough, it becomes about redemption and that is a long road.

While the book is pretty short, it has a lot in it. It moves fast so it was a quick read, but I didn’t feel like I missed a thing that Shan didn’t want me to. I do like that there was so much gore and action too! It was brutal and the bomb drops were major! I also like how succinct the book is. When it ends, you know it’s not the end of the book, just the end of a chapter and what’s coming will be bigger.

 

Overall

Not a series I’m addicted to or anything I’m going to gush over like you’ve seen me do, but it is intriguing. There’s a lot that’s coming and I look forward to the next ones. I’m a sucker for a good redemption story, and of course, zombies!

 

Quotables:

“At the end of the day you have to work out for yourself what’s right or wrong.” (p. 46)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Ride Wit Me by Nelly ft. Ludacris.

 

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