At the Brink (The Last Magician – A Book Review)

The Last Magician (The Last Magician #1)
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Simon & Schuster

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated M for magic tricks and sneaky cons that’ll make Chris Angel weak in the knees.

 

Stop the Magician.

Steal the book.

Save the future.

In modern-day New York, Esta has an affinity for time. It’s a special, Mageus talent, an old magic which has been dying. Since she was a little girl she’s been trained in the art of being a thief. Now, to save magic from going extinct, she’ll go back to the age of prohibition to find a special book that could help destroy the Brink—a barrier that keeps all Mageus from leaving Manhattan. It destroys their powers and them.

Just when she begins to get her foothold in this era of ruthless old gangs and high societies bent on destroying magic, Harte Darrigan sweeps in, making her mission more complicated. She has no choice but to betray those in the past to save the future, but the longer she stays, the more she questions everything.

 

First things first. I don’t know how to explain it, so don’t ask, but while reading this, I got some MAJOR Harry Potter vibes. From the immersive and enamoring detail to the incredible chemistry between characters, it’s all I could think. Now, a lot of those who’ve read The Diviner’s series agree that this is similar. Sadly, that isn’t a series that I’ve read, but I still say I’m getting the vibes of epic-ness just like I got from Harry Potter.

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The characters are EVERYTHING. Maxwell does such a splendid job of bouncing between her characters and she left me clamoring after all of them. There wasn’t a single character that I hated…well, not true, but those were villainous characters that are meant to feel my scorn and wrath. Esta and Darrigan though! So much push and pull that makes my pulse quicken like a hummingbird at a colorful and beautiful smelling flower. They’re stubborn and passionate characters that push and pull and by the end I just want them to be together. Hell, at their very first meeting it’s all I want. They’re stressing me out, but I love it!

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Tenor

The other characters are given so much life. They’re more than just side characters. I love that so much! Everyone is important. It’s just incredible the way she built them and I fell even more in love because of all of the diversity among them. So much independence and

The setting of Manhattan was such a unique place to choose. Maxwell took the creation of a setting-a world-to a different dimension. Not only by the depth of place(s) but by the time period too. She time traveled, making the setting even more vibrant and intense. Here is Esta, a girl of modern day, in the past of Manhattan. I’m not one for typical historical fictions, but this is anything but typical.

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The twists and betrayals were wild. Just when I thought there might be a sprinkle of trust between two people BAM nope. My hopes rose every time and I’m not even ashamed of it. I know, thieves never trust thieves, but I couldn’t help it.

There is so much about this book and I could go on and on! But you know what? Just read it! There’s betrayal. Complicated feelings. Intense action. Consequences of using magic, and it’s eye-opening.

 

Overall

I wasn’t sure about this book when I started it. The cover is gorgeous and I love how it ties in with the book. The description was curious. So I took a shot. I’m SO glad I did. Phenomenal. The incredible mix of history and magic is just breathtaking and the ending…it’ll leave you speechless. Up on the favorites shelf, you go.

 

Quotables:

“Steal me the night, girl.” (Dolph to Esta, p. 136)

“Desperation and fear could make anyone do nearly anything, and sometimes a single sacrifice was necessary to save many.” (p. 261)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Stand By Me by KI Theory.

 

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The Lost & Found Princess (Daughter of Egypt – A Book Review)

Daughter of Egypt
Author: Constance O’Banyon
Published: 2008

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated R for rebellion against love because no one should choose who you love but you.

 

From the winding alleys of Rome to the shimmering dune of the Egyptian desert.

As a child, Thalia lived on the streets, always on the run, trying to survive. Then she’s swept away to Egypt, adopted by a royal family and it became all she ever knew. Breaching her eighteenth birthday, her mother is trying to help her find a suitor, but none of them move Thalia’s heart.

Ona night of a suitor’s ball, Thalia is kidnapped by a man deemed the Destroyer. A heartless killer and commander of men. She’s told that she’s the lost princess of a country that desperately needs her rule. He then vows to protect and love her, but she’s too stunned to understand and wishes nothing more than to go home to Egypt. As she comes to know who she is meant to be, her heart changes for her people and for the man who’s been sworn to her.

 

I’ve told you just how much I love ancient Egypt, right? It’s one of my favorite eras to study in history from the religion system to how they farm to their royalty to the architecture. I love it all!! Even the mummification process. That being said, the imagery and attention to details on that front were simple and warm. Lots of love.

I’m not one for typical lush romances. Really not, but I was pulled to this one. Thalia is a rebel and a young woman that follows only her heart and instincts. My kind of girl. She doesn’t bow down to anyone, but she does open her heart and that’s special. She didn’t cave like some damsel. Ashtyn is definitely her perfect match. The moment they connected it was blazing hot. He wasn’t just some piece of muscle. He was earnest, yet determined. He proved he was the one for Thalia. That development during their journey was so great. Loads of drama. I loved it.

Breakfast at Tifaany's

I loved the cameo by Cleopatra and Antony so much. It was like getting to see one of my favorite celebrities. So wicked. All of the glam and air of the ruler was epic! It also etched this book into a very real part of history.

 

Overall

There was a lack of intensity for me when it came to character interactions. I loved the chemistry, but my breath didn’t hitch or halt. Lip-biting was a no. It was nice but didn’t get me there. Great action and a beautiful romance, but only a one-time read for me.

 

Quotables:

“Danger was stalking her, waiting for her to become careless.” (p. 34)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.   

 

P. S. Song today? Rock Bottom by Hailee Steinfeld ft. DNCE

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

 

 

From the Page to the Screen – A Book List

Hello, my epic and awesome bookworms!

How’s hangin’?

I’m good. The weather has been up and down. Rainy and snowy (which sucks). It’s supposed to be spring! I’ve discovered that I’m really into the trend of cacti. Don’t know why. Well, actually, it may relate to me being as prickly as a cactus. Kidding!And I’m on my sixth bag of jelly beans, but I can’t help it! The Sweet Tart Jellies are sooooo good. They do that thing where they rub my tongue raw, though.

Anyway, I have the monthly book list! This time I went with one that could stir up debate: the best book turned movie. There are a lot of favorites out there. I took some time to get some and have compiled a list. You be the judge!

Bridge to Terabithia
Author: Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia

“It really captured all of the creativity and imagination that the characters have.”

-Kat J.

Bridge to Terabithia

Harry Potter
Author: J.K. Rowling

HP

“It was pretty close to the books and created real magic.”

-Kya Y.

Harry Potter

Gone with the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind

“I love historical fiction and this really did well in capturing Scarlet O’Hara. The length of the movie compared to the book was perfect.”

-Susan C.

Gone with the Wind - Giphy

The Time Machine
Author: H.G. Wells

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“I love time travel sci-fi. The movie was really good in showing how the hero slowly turned into the villain with each time travel. It’s also gotten me into Dr. Who.”

-Jeff C.

Time Machine - Time Travel Nexus

Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants

“A truly magical story. Kept close to the book.”

-Delena T.

Water for Elephants

Twilight
Author: Stephanie Meyer

Twilight - Open Book Society

“I loved how well the intensity of the emotions of the characters were captured. Edward was perfect.”

-Rae R.

Twilight

The Princess Bride
Author: William Goldman

Princess Bride - The Housework Can Wait

“Just, yes. Definitely the best.”

-Becca B.

Princess Bride

Cat in the Hat
Author: Dr. Seuss

Cat in the Hat

-Bernard F.

Cat in the Hat

The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry

The Giver

“It wasn’t perfect, but they did a good job capturing the vibe.”

-Cierra M.

The Giver

Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie

“It did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of Opal and her relationships.”

-Alice T.

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Have a book that you believe was made into a great movie? Tell me in the comments below!

More to come soon…

–K.

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Lights. Camera. Flickers. (The Girls in the Picture – A Book Review)

The Girls in the Picture
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Published: Jan. 16th, 2018 (ARC)

Girls in the Picture - Scarlet Reader

 

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

1 of 25

A memory of a different time, a different color, a different door…

Before there were movies and television shows there were the silent films and the talkies. It was the beginning of film. At the forefront of this revolution from theatre to black and white there was Mary Pickford and Frances Marion, friends and feminist duo. These two ladies were much more than that; they were innovators and artists in a time when the world was considered no place for a woman to work, a man’s world.

With all of this fame came the struggles that tested their relationship, their sisterhood. Through the abuse of men, heartbreak, loss, there were times that they nearly lost each other as well as themselves. During a time of war both across the world and in the industry, these strong women held on to their dreams, gaining fame and respect, earning their places in Hollywood history among the first women to earn Academy Awards for their extraordinary talent: Frances for her screenwriting and Mary for her acting.

This book is a part of my New Year’s Resolution to read from 25 authors I haven’t read from before. This marks 1 of 25. I’m very excited about this being numero uno, too. I received ARC from Random House Publishing. It was delivered to our store and I was grateful to receive a copy. Truly.

I remember when The Swans of Fifth Avenue came out and I really wanted to read it. I haven’t had a chance to yet, but I am ecstatic to have read The Girls in the Picture. I love movies. I love my television shows. I love film. Casablanca is one of my favorite romances, but so is A Walk to Remember. To get a wonderful vision of the birth of film was breathtaking for me. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t ooohhhing and aaaahhhing at the glamorous parts or gasping at some of the horrifying moments that took place behind the camera as well as in front of it. Melanie wrote about a subject that I’m in love and utterly passionate with. It made me very happy to read this historical novel. It wasn’t typical whatsoever.

It wasn’t just with the time period that I followed the lovely Mary Pickford and Frances Marion through, but the language that guided their story and swept me away, like Dorothy to Oz. Oh, I was in such a wispy dream. In the midst of reading this book I was looking up the adventures of Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks on YouTube and there they were in black and white. It was very interesting. Each character was so wonderfully written. I had a clear vision of all of them.

girls in the picture

There wasn’t a detail amiss as I went through the years with these women. I do have to say, my favorite part was when Frances had no idea where to put her first Academy Award so she used it as a doorstop. It was so normal and simple. I imagine there are special shelves for such awards and for Frances it was on the floor, keeping her doors from closing. At least it had a use. LOL.

Even more, I learned an incredible amount about what it meant to work in the entertainment industry at this time in history. You acted, edited and cut your own work. It was never just one job. You did everything to help make a flicker or silent movie. And all of the make-up one had to wear? One might as well have been wearing a mask. Dialogue didn’t hit the screen until moviegoers started to read lips and that’s when Frances got her true beginning, her niche and  it was like watching a real star being born and seeing it’s twinkle turn into a bright shine. As the girl with curls, Mary Pickford gained notoriety by using her shine in front of the camera. The love of the people gave her life and all of this? The entire journey? It left my heart tingling. I have been inspired.

The feminism of this book was powerful. Frances and Mary strived and worked hard to achieve their success at a time when they were expected to be baby-makers and home caretakers and not much more. The business of Hollywood is no joke. There’s so much chaos and dirt underneath the glitz and glam of shiny stars. If you’ve been reading the headlines lately, you know what I mean. #MeToo and the amazing solidarity shown at the Golden Globes is a powerful movement. I hope it moves forward to help women and many others who have been treated unfairly to gain equality. Both of the women in the book struggled against men in power to be treated with respect and to prove that they could handle whatever stood in their way.

girls in the Picture

This is such a beautiful book. I loved it very much as you can tell. I don’t have any bones to pick. It’s certainly a must-read. The book comes out on Jan. 16th, 2018. That’s less than a week, folks. Go get a copy ASAP.

Quotables:

“Then I looked up at the stars. They were so close they looked as if, with one poke of my finger, they might scatter, like brilliant billiard balls.” (Francis, p. 81)

“I was one of them. The only woman swimming upstream up a river of men.” (Frances, p. 207)

“When you’re older, looking at your younger self is like at a promise you couldn’t keep. But still, you look, you marvel. You remember.” (Mary, p. 228)

“The sins you do two by two, you pay for one by one.” (doctor, p. 316)

“Before the nightmare, there was paradise.” (Frances, p. 339)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? This Is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Rey

 

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