Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Review: Faithful by Alice Hoffman

I finished this one really quickly. I saw myself in Shelby. I have experienced many of these things she has had to deal with. I was really wondering how Hoffman was going to rescue Shelby and help her start over. I loved how she introduced James. The story has a fairy tale quality to it. Shelby cannot get what she needs from her own family, so she makes her family out of a friend from work and her family, a guy who is totally in love with her-but she is not so sure about, and a few dogs that she "steals". I think Shelby is raw but so interesting. I could see myself finding inspiration through some of the same venues that she did. Hoffman shows us that we can recover from something terrible, it may take time and help, but it can be done. Very inspiring!

*Thank you to Alice Hoffman, Simon and Schuster, and NetGalley for allowing me to read this e-arc in exchane for an honest review*


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Book Review: Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch

I had no idea that this was based on a true person. It really does make this a fascinating story. Although knowing it is based on a true person does make some of the writing bother me. I was appalled by a line in the book that said Julia (the main character) squirted lemon juice in her eyes to brighten them. Now, Julia was a carnival curiosity, an "ape woman" a "freak". but in reality she was just a woman with some birth defects. No human would purposely squirt lemon juice in their eye! I realize that Ms. Birch's words are fiction, but I think she could have found a better way to describe her getting "pretty".
Julia married Theo her "manager". He was a total jerk and did so many things that will make you want to strangle him! I don't want to spoil anything, so you must read if you want to realize what a creep he was! Julia spent her life being exploited by people, especially her husband. She was not even able to protect the one she loved most in the world. Even in death, she was treated like property, and treated very badly!!
This story will make you realize that the way Carnival performers were treated, was not okay. How sad for these people that they had to be treated inhumane! They were preyed upon and exploited for defects in their appearance that they were born with, and had no control over.
If you would like to read about the real Julia, you can check out this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2277608/Ape-woman-Julia-Pastrana-buried-150-years-Body-Ugliest-Woman-World-returns-Mexico.html

The problem that I had with the story was that the modern characters were not interesting. I did not care about them. I understand why their story was told, but I also know that the story did not need them to succeed. I feel that the story would have been better without the modern part of the story. Rose's story was not nearly as well written as Julia's. That ending just made me even more sad for Theo Jr. Since we do not know this as truth, it felt even more mean spirited. Without this part of the story, this would have been a five star read, one with a few problems, but still a wonderful story.

*Thank you to Carol Birch, NetGalley, and the publisher for allowing me access to an uncorrected e-arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Book Review: Irena's Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

This is not the first book I have read about this true story, but it is one of my favorites. Irena Sendler was a social worker who used the welfare system to help her reach children she would not have been able to help otherwise. Her story is not one that many have heard of or are familiar with.  She had many collaborators whose stories are also touched on throughout this book. Many of these collaborators, Irena included, were imprisoned, tortured, and some even killed, but none gave up Irena and her network. Irena was very skilled at coming up with new and inventive ways to help children escape from the ghetto. I am so glad that the author was able to bring more of Irena and her helpers stories to light so that this story was not lost to history. Thousands of children were saved because of this group of people and their bravery. If you want to read about heroes, get this book!!!

*Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*



Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I Would Name My Pets After

I love animals. I currently am the mom to 11 cats and 5 dogs. My parents also have 9 cats and 2 dogs, which I spend a lot of time with, and treat like they are my own. SO, this subject is not a hard one for me. Many of our animals have been named after characters. Since my whole family are huge movie fans, I am going to divide this into 5 book characters and 5 movie characters. I will stick with names I have used. The animal pictures are actual pictures of my animals named after these characters. I would appreciate it if these pictures were not shared.


Bookish Names:

5) Sawyer     This name was after Tom Sawyer from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  This was a beautiful blue gray male cat that was very curious, and loved to explore. He was inquisitive and loving.




                                                                    Sawyer



4) Savage    My son has a beagle named Savage after Savage Sam by Fred Gipson.  Savvy as we call him is far from savage. He is a very high energy beagle. My dad used to raise beagles and I do not remember having one with as much gumption as Savvy.


Savvy


3) Bunny Blue   I actually have used this name for two of my pets. We have an all black German Shepherd female whose name is Isis Blue. We also have a long haired male Chihuahua named Cubby Bunny, who is known as Pup Pup.  This book was my favorite as a child. My Grandma would read it to me every time I asked her to. When my Grandma passed away I was given this book from her collection.


                                                                     Isis Blue

                                                                     Cubby Bunny
                                             

2) Caspian      We had a beautiful Snowshoe cat. At the time we were given him by a close friend I was reading The Hollow by Jessica Verday. So I elected to name him Casper, which was a nod to Caspian.



                                                                        Casper


1)  Little Ann    Little Ann is my dad's chocolate lab. She is sweet and loving. She is named after Little Ann from Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.


                                                                       Lil' Ann


Movie Names:

5) Chewy     Chewy is because he liked to chew on everything as a kitten, but he never would have been Chewy without Star Wars. Chewy is a boy and a Ragdoll.




  4) Flower   Flower is a boy. He is named after the skunk on Bambi. He is a cat with patchwork of white and striped brown and black.

 3) Buddy     Buddy is named after the Disney Air Bud movies. He was a big, beautiful dog that was half Golden Retriever, half Irish Setter. He was big, and klutzy, but a giant teddy bear who would protect the kids no matter what!


2) Sydney     Sydney was named after Annette Bening's character from the movie The American President. Sydney was a girl and a cat. She was given to me by my parents when I was in college. When I moved out my mom would not let me take her with me, so she stayed with my parents. She was patchy with white and black.

1) Sinbad        Sinbad was a boy cat. He was Siamese. He was named after the movie The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.


*You can see all the other Top Ten Lists at The Broke and The Bookish.
http://www.brokeandbookish.com/2016/10/ten-characters-wed-name-our-children-or.html


Thursday, October 6, 2016

True Crime Book Review********Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, The BTK Killer

This true crime expose was written by Katherine Ramsland, one of the True Crime Queens of writing! She also writes about Vampires, Cemeteries, Ghosts, and other creepy things!! Needless to say I am a fangirl!
Climbing into the mind of a serial killer is not for the faint of heart! This one is hard to read. You might find yourself cringing a lot or needing to take a break.
Ramsland does a good job of pulling us into Rader's world. She does her best to help us come to grips with his twisted mind. This is an insightful read into a touchy subject!

*Thank you to NetGalley, Katherine Ramsland, and the Publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review*




Book Review: A Better Truth by Valerie Joan Connors

This story was just okay. I did like Grace, and would like to hear more from her. She was my favorite character by far. The jumping around in time made the story hard to follow and connect with.
I did enjoy the twists and turns. The ending took me by surprise. All in all, just okay!

*Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author, for a free copy in exchange for an honest review*


Book Review: Faultlines by Barbara Taylor Sissel

I only had one problem with the storyline. There was an overabundance of characters, which left me confused as to where they all fit in. That being said, I did enjoy the story!
The story moved at a fast pace and held my attention throughout. The mystery aspects were well done. I figured out a few, but many surprised me. I was sad and sympathized with the issues the characters were dealing with.


*Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher, for a copy in exchange for an honest review*




Book Review: The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

Faith's sister is stolen and miraculously returned years later. Faith is resentful and jealous. While reading you constantly get the feeling that something is off, but you can't quite put your finger on it.
The storyline moves quickly and is interesting. The author does a wonderful job of showing that an abduction effects everyone in the family, not just the victim.
The ending blew me away and fits perfectly with the characters. This is the best I have read in a while!


*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a free copy in exchange for an honest review*

Book Review: Karolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson

WHY has no one told me about Ronald H. Balson?  Karolina's Twins is the third book in a series about a husband and wife team of lawyers and investigators. Yes, this is the third book, but you do not have to read the previous titles for this one to make sense. Liam and Catherine are very interesting characters so I am adding the previous titles to my TBR list.
A Holocaust survivor named Lena obtains Catherine to help her search for her friend's twins who were lost during the war. Catherine becomes a champion for Lena, willing to do anything to protect her and her story. Lena's story is remarkable and very well told. Liam takes up the investigation part of the case searching everywhere for the twins.
The story moves between a historical setting, Lena's backstory, and the modern story of the investigation. I enjoyed both storylines and settings and enjoyed all the main characters. I am looking forward to more by this author!


*Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me an uncorrected e-copy in exchange for an honest review*


Thursday, August 18, 2016

DVD Review: 11.22.63



On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated. What if you could go back and change the past? This time travel thrill ride is based on a Stephen King book. This is one of the few cases where I have watched the show without reading the book, so I cannot compare the two.
     What if you found a way to go back into time? What if you thought changing one thing could make the world better? What if you made decisions and the outcome surprised you?
    This series is well made. James Franco does a great job, and normally I am not a fan of him.  This is a great Stephen King production. While you are watching look for hints of King's other hits (RedRum on the book depository wall). The storyline moves at a brisk pace and held my interest throughout. Although some parts were far from realistic, they were very well done.
     The ending fit perfectly. The actors all did a wonderful job stepping into their character's shoes. This one will stay with you for a while. It will also make you realize that everything happens for a reason, and as King reiterates several times "the past doesn't want to change".

Book Review: I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Normally, this type of unique, creepy, intriguing tale, would totally be my cup of tea. Sadly, this one did not live up to the hype. The execution was off. The car scenes made me want to pull out my hair, and kept me very close to not finishing the book. The storyline was very unnerving, and that kept me from giving up. The disjointed characters did not come to a convincing conclusion. For me this one was a disappointment.



Thursday, August 4, 2016

Movie Review: Midnight Special

I have been wanting to watch this one for a while. I was impressed! The movie was well done. What if your child had super powers? What would you do to protect him? What would you do to keep him safe? What if the worlds of cults and aliens combined into one movie? They do in this one. A great combination of sci-fi, suspense, action, and intrigue. The kids liked it too. The hubby is hard to please and said this one was good. Check it out! I got it at Redbox!!


Book Review: The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay


I checked out that cover and the description and thought "WOW", this one is right up my alley. Never mind the fact that I loved McKay's previous offerings. BUT, I was sadly disappointed. I did not find the book so bad that I couldn't finish it, but it did have some problems. Cate is just not a great main character. None of the side characters are fleshed out enough to care about. The story moves too slowly. Some parts of the story were interesting, but the parts that dragged outweighed the good ones. This should have been a five star read for me, but it just was not what I was expecting.

*Special Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review*


Book Review: A Game for All the Family by Sophie Hannah

Sadly, this is one of the worst I have read in a long time. The story wants you to believe that some people don't exist, or they do, depends on who you are. Also if someone tries to convince you that you are entirely someone else, then have your friends join in and help you invent a story of how you are the person they think, knowing that you are really not! Does this all make sense? Of course it does not and that is why this story is not good.
This does not live up to Sophie Hannah's back catalog. I had a hard time finishing, but even reading the final page did not help me to like or care about the story. The whole thing was too bizarre for words, and not in a good way! Bizarre can be excellent, but this one was terrible!



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Review: Forgiving My Daughter's Killer by Kate Grosmaire

As a parent it is so very hard to know how to best react when someone hurts your child. What if someone killed your child? What would your reaction be?
This is an amazing, inspiring story of how a mother and father are able to forgive their daughter's murderer. They even go so far as to help the killer get a less stiff sentence. They also visit him in jail. The most surprising part is that they were not church-goers, or very spiritual people. How in the world they are able to forgive him is beyond comprehension!
Reading this book may change the way you view punishment and forgiveness forever!



*Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free arc copy of this story in exchange for an honest review*

Book Review: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

This my friends, is how you write a novel!! Grady Hendrix is so inventive and imaginative! The book itself adds so much to the storyline. The novel is a story told in the form of a store catalog complete with maps and diagrams.
The story is a haunted house mystery hidden within the story of workers employed at a big box furniture store. I know, I know, what in the heck am I talking about?? Most of this book is just beyond description and you must pick it up just to see how unique it is.
The storyline itself is very well done. The story moves at a fast pace and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Every time you feel you know what is going on, you are surprised by what is happening! The ending is perfect! Mr. Hendrix, Can we look forward to a sequel?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Set Outside The US

This weeks topic is Ten Books Set Outside the US. You can find all the top ten lists here: http://www.brokeandbookish.com/2016/07/ten-books-set-outside-us-that-weve.html

Thank you to The Broke and The Bookish for coming up with all these Awesome Top Ten's!!!!


10.  The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan (China)     A mother tells her daughter about the past.

 9.    Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (Netherlands)      Hanneke helps people find what they need. How far will she go when asked to find someone?

 8.    Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge (England)        Two sisters band together against a world that is not as it seems.

 7.   The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne (Scotland)       What really happened on the day that Sarah's daughter died?

 6.  The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure (France)     An architect is offered large sums of money to construct hiding places for Jews.

 5.  Property of a Lady by Sarah Rayne (Shropshire)      Michael is looking after an estate for his friends. What will he find there? Will he ever be the same?

 4.  Slade House by David Mitchell (Britain)     Welcome to Slade House! At first you won't want to leave, and then you will realize that you can't!

 3.  Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell (United Kingdom)      Sophie is spending the summer with her cousins, Cameron, Lilas, and Piper, and also the girl who died, the girl with a room full of dolls, the girl who should not be there.

 2.  Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (England)      As Ursula grows, she dies, and is born again, over and over.

 1.  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Siberia)     Lina is forced to work in a camp in Siberia.













Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pre-Publication Review: Baby Doll

In Baby Doll, Hollie Overton's debut novel, Lily is kidnapped as a teen. She amazingly escapes, eight years later, along with her daughter, who was fathered by her captor. This novel is told in the voices of Lily, Eve-her mother, Abby-her twin sister, and Rick-her captor.
The storyline moved quickly and held my interest throughout. There were a few unbelievable events, but I still liked the story. There were a few things that bothered me about Lily. She seemed to heal awfully fast. Also, her mother's story was boring. She was selfish, and really added nothing to Lily's story.
I did enjoy the twists and turns, and the fact that the novel was written about the aftermath of the crime and how it affected all those involved. I liked that Abby would do whatever it took for her sister.
For a debut novel I thought it was very well done. I am sure Overton will improve on her second try. I am looking forward to reading more.

*Thank you to NetGalley and RedHook for providing me with a free uncorrected e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review




Movie Review: The Other Side of the Door

I was expecting a grade B bore fest, what I got was a surprise. The plot moved at a slow pace, but that only built the sense of dread. I would not consider this a horror movie, more of a suspense film, in my opinion. There were a few jump scares and blink and you will miss it moments. While the acting was not stellar, the plot was interesting. This could have been a 5 star film. It was middle of the road for me. I did like it and thought it was unique. I thought the ending was perfect.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Book Review: Stolen Years by Kazia Myers

Stolen Years is based around a little known and little talked about period of history. During World War II teens were forcefully taken from their homes in Poland and forced into slave labor in Austria. This story focuses around a teen named Anna and the other teens she works with on the farm.
The farmer is abusive and neglectful and the teens are forced to work for several years. Many of the workers are killed or left to die. The story is heavy and depressing at times.
I did like the story line, but I think it would have benefitted from some trimming. I found myself getting bogged down by all of the cruelty and repelled slightly by the storyline. I did not really feel myself connecting with any of Anna's friends. I did enjoy reading about Anna but I also felt a disconnect from her. All of these things made the story hard to finish. I would only recommend it to those interested in WWII, little known stories in history, and fans of Austria.

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten TV Shows Based On Books

This week is a free topic week. So I am going to go with my favorite television shows that are based on books. Of course, we all know that the books are ALMOST always better then the movies or television shows. BUT, that doesn't mean that they are all terrible. Some of them are actually my favorites. So let's jump in!

If you would like to see all this weeks topics and lists, check them out here: http://www.brokeandbookish.com/2016/06/top-ten-favorite-summer-activities-that.html

I am going to go with five series that are still on the air, and five that are no longer in production, but still excellent!

On the Air Now:

5. The Vampire Diaries
I really loved this series when it started out. Honestly, I haven't seen in for a few seasons, but a lot of my friends love it. I love to re-watch the older seasons.

4. The Leftovers
 I honestly have never gotten to watch the second season. I loved the first season and love that it is unique and original.  I have to get the second series this summer.

3. Pretty Little Liars
I have never read the series, but I love the show. It is a great mix of soap opera, suspense, and mystery.

2. Outlander
Once again, I have never read this series, although I hope to one day. I love the show. It is very well done. This one is not for youngsters.

1. Game of Thrones
Once again another series I have not read. I love the show. It is show full of action and science fiction drama. Once again not for the children.


No Longer On the Air:

5. Roswell
Another soap opera-drama, filled with teen angst, but SO good!!

4. True Blood
It is filled with paranormal action, and Eric Northman, so how can you not love it!
again, not for kids

3. Friday Night Lights
Honestly, I have read this book. I liked the book, but I loved the series. This one is safe for the family!

2. Haven
Another series I have yet to finish. My whole family likes to watch it because it has the perfect mix of drama, suspense, magic, and mystery.

1. Little House on the Prairie
What can I say? I still love it! It is perfect for all ages and teaches morals, values, and life lessons. Plus it is just good old fashioned fun!

What do you think? Did I miss any of your favorites? Do you not like my choices? Leave me a comment and let me know! Thanks for stopping by!!!





Monday, June 27, 2016

Pre-Publication Review: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

I was so excited to be approved to read this on NetGalley. This is my very first NetGalley book. I loved the cover and find fairs fun and fascinating. I had no idea that the story would be so unique.

The story is told in reverse, as if the main character Nic, is trying to put all the puzzle pieces together while she shares them with you. It can be a bit confusing at first, but once I got the hang of going backwards, it all came together for me.

This mystery is full of suspense, and twists, and turns. Just when you think you know who the bad guy is, BAM. there is a new, different, bad guy. You probably won't fall in love with any of the characters. They have all had it rough, and it shows. Their circle is small because they are the only ones who truly have it figured out, no one can understand them, but them!

The family dynamic makes the book special. How far would you go for the ones you love? What would you do for your sister? your girlfriend? your daughter? Personally,  I come from a very small town, and honestly I could see something like this happening. Secrets are well hidden in a small town.

I did not see any of the twists coming. I was on the edge of my seat at the end. The storyline moved quickly and was never boring. The most unique book I have read so far this year.


*Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for allowing me to read an advance e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Book Review: Girl in the Blue Coat



Anyone who has seen my Goodreads list knows that I love books about history, and especially about The Holocaust. So, I was automatically drawn to this story. I had a few issues with the story itself. Hanneke was hard to like. I don't really know how to explain why. I realize that she is not Jewish and probably does not have a full grasp of what is going on around her. That really does not excuse the fact that she is not very emotionally invested in her job. She almost seems emotionless as these horrors go on around her. She reacts, but her reactions are not as realistic as I would expect from a teen who lost someone she loved.
I always love a mystery and a twist is normally welcome, but I didn't really enjoy the way the author threw all the twists in so close together. It made me ponder the believability of the whole novel. I was overwhelmed and didn't find all the twists realistic.
I did like the ending and thought things were wrapped up nicely.  All in all just okay. The fact that the story was a quick read helped immensely, as I am not sure I would have been able to finish a longer storyline.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Book Review: The City of Mirrors



I finally got to read The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin, the final novel of The Passage trilogy.  I am unsure how to even begin the review. I have waited with breathless anticipation to see what will happen to Cronin's characters. I had wondered if he would do them justice. Cronin does a wonderful job wrapping things up. Amy's story is my favorite and her ending is a perfect fit for her storyline. Somehow Cronin even made me root for the bad guy, that never happens! Beautifully written and exquisitely tied together, I am at a loss for words! Just read it!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is the wonderful creation of The Broke and The Bookish. You can find all the other Top Ten Lists here: http://www.brokeandbookish.com/2016/06/daisys-ten-most-anticipated-releases.html


YA Reads

 5.  Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh      A witch, the evil sea, and a girl who is scared of water       September 6, 2016

 4. Unblemished by Sara Ella      Can a girl born with a birthmark covering half her face survive in the otherworld?     October 11, 2016

 3.  Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow        A cutter has lost so much. Can she come back from the edge?              September 6, 2016

 2.  Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco                Audrey leads a secret life full of forensic science and corpse investigations. This one also has period pictures and its presented by James Patterson.                   September 20, 2016      
 1.  The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee                   Manhattan 2118, anything is possible if you want it enough!          August 30. 2016

Adult Reads
5. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood          The daughter of a meth dealer struggles to raise her eight year old brother. She also falls in love with a tattooed ex-con.                    August 9, 2016
4. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty                 Can the most innocent of moments do the greatest harm?  Who would have thought that a neighborhood barbecue could start so many problems?               July 26, 2016
3. Girl: My Childhood and the Second World War by Alona Frankel                      A young girl's story of living through a war and its aftermath.                           September 12, 2016
2. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch                               Can a man trapped between two worlds survive and discover which world is real and which is a dream?                 August 2, 2016
1. The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale                           A true murder mystery from 1895.                                                       July 12, 2016                                          

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Movie Review: The Conjuring 2

I was lucky enough to get free passes to a pre-showing of this movie. I must say it is pretty cool being one of the first to get to see a movie. I took my teenage son with me. He is almost as obsessed with movies as I am. The Conjuring 2 revolves around paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren. The couple is played by the original actors from the first Conjuring movie, which is a nice continuation. This film is the story of the Enfield Poltergeist which happened in 1977, shortly after the Warren's became famous for their investigation of The Amityville  Murders.
The story revolves around an eleven year old girl named Janet. Her family begins experiences odd things throughout their home. They contact the church and the police for help. Eventually the church reaches out to the Warrens to represent the church while investigating. Ed and Lorraine travel to England for a three day investigation.

Personally, I did not like this story as much as the first Conjuring storyline. There were a few good jump scares. The movie was certainly tension filled and eerie. The film starts off a little too slow. There are actually several different storylines tied into this film. It is actually a bit confusing keeping all of these cases straight. There were several screams and jumps throughout the theater and the audience did clap at the end of the film. Make sure you stay for the ending as you will see pictures and hear audio from the real life case this film is based on.

My son said it was the scariest movie he had ever seen. He is still talking about it today after watching it last night. He was scared to go outside by himself and freaked out when the car lights stayed on after we returned from the theater. For me the movie was good, but not great. I will watch it again, but for me it was not as good as the first film. I had a hard time sympathizing with Janet. The film leaned you toward believing that she may have invited the problem by playing with a ouija board. I also had a rough time watching the movie as so many scenes were repeats from other horror films I have watched. If you want to know what I am referring to please scroll below for details. I do not want to publish spoilers without giving advance notice.

****Thank you AMC Stubs for providing me with 2 free passes to this pre-screening****

Spoilers to Follow:  Scroll below to continue.....Stop reading if you do not want to read spoilers!!!



















































Spoilers Ahead:






















There were several films that were basically copied in major scenes  throughout this film. I will highlight the scenes I am thinking of.

1. The Tent--------The Sixth Sense  
2.  The Rolling Fire Truck---Poltergeist
3.  Lorraine traveling into the past to talk to the old man-------Insidious
4.  Janet's possession-------The Exorcist
5.  The Scary Nun------ A Nightmare on Elm Street 3


If you have seen the film, What do you think? Are you reminded of the same films, or am I crazy? Did I miss any films you were reminded of?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Movie Review: The Boy

The Boy was such a surprise for me!! I guess I was expecting a new take on Chuckie, and that is not at all what I got! I was on the edge of my seat the whole movie waiting to see if or what was going to happen. The movie does move at a slow pace, but the thought of what you might see kept me interested. There were some smart moments here! All in all a nice surprise for scary movie fans. Although, I might consider this one more suspense then horror. I appreciated the mystery elements although the acting was not great. I enjoyed the movie with my teen.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim

See all the other Top Ten lists here: http://www.brokeandbookish.com/2016/05/ten-books-we-picked-up-on-whim.html

10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer   I normally do not like sic-fi. Books with cyborgs as the main character do not interest me. BUT, Cinder was Awesome!

 9. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith   I do not like romance. How can a book set in an airport be interesting? I was wrong, I loved it!

 8. Crash by Lisa McMann    I had read others by McMann and was not that impressed. Crash sucked me in! Glad I gave it a chance!

 7. Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by    I don't read self-help books. Some Christian books are off-putting. I was so surprised that Bittersweet was just what I needed to read. I even passed my copy on to a friend.

 6.  House of Prayer No.2: A Writer's Journey Home by Mark Richard   I love a good memoir but reading the book jacket did not suck me in. SO glad I gave it a try. Very well written and inspiring.

 5.  Ravensbruck by Sarah Helm   I very seldom tackle books that are over 600 pages. I could not put this one down. I even had to pay the late fee because someone had it on hold at the library, and I was not finished reading.

 4.  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green     I had tried John Green before. I just could not get into his books. I picked this one up at the library and was blown away!

 3.  Vicious Little Darlings by   The cover was nothing special and the description did not sound special. This is honestly the most unique, strange, bizarre book I have ever read! If you like weird and different along with a head-scratching end...You must try this one!

 2.  The Hollow by   This was the first YA I had picked up in years. I really was desperate for something to grab my attention. I loved the whole series!!

 1.  Quiet Strength  by Tony Dungy    What could a football coach write that would be interesting or relevant to my life? This is one of my all time favorites and I have gifted several copies.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Weekend Edition: Armchair BEA-Day Four and Five!

Welcome to the weekend edition of Armchair BEA. Today we are covering Day Four and Day Five Topics.

Day Four-Fictional Worlds

What fictional worlds would you want to live in?

  I would love to live in The Night Circus. That is one of my favorites. The world draws you in and you can see and smell what is going on. The circus would be fun to live in. Life would never be boring.

  The Thirteenth Tale would be another world I would love to reside in. Spending my days surrounded by books and mysteries could be a great thing. I love this book and the setting inside.

What fictional worlds would you not want to dive into?

   The answer for these are obvious to me. I would not want to live in the Passage. I don't think I would do well with the vamps. I would certainly not want to be in any type of zombie novel. I would hope that I would be brave enough to defend myself, but I am fat and slow and would be an easy victim. I would not want to live in the world of The First Days by Rhiannon Frater.  I also would not even want to visit the world of State of Decay by Peggy Martinez.

   Another world I would not want to be in would be Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. It is one of my favorite books. BUT, I am not wanting to live over and over. I do enough to screw up my life now and certainly don't want to repeat it, or come out with an even worse outcome.



Day Five-Wrap Up

Sadly, this is the end of Armchair BEA. I really enjoyed this years topics and had fun with the posts. I also found a few new blogs to follow and talked to some wonderful bloggers. I look forward to Armchair BEA every year. Next year will be great. Thanks to everyone who checked out the posts and took the time to leave a comment. I hope you enjoyed Armchair BEA as much as I did! See you next year!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Armchair BEA: Day Three- Beyond Books and Beyond The Blog

Welcome to Day Three of Armchair BEA!!!!
Thanks for stopping by!

Today's Topic is Beyond Books and Beyond the Blog.

Beyond Books--

   My favorite forms of books beyond non-traditional are ebooks and graphic novels. The best example I can give for graphic novels are The Walking Dead compendiums. If you haven't checked them out, you really should! The graphics are amazing and the storyline will pull you in. This is not the television series. There are differences here. If you love the show you should check out where it came from!


  Ebooks are great because I can read them in bed and just shut my phone off when I am done. Ebooks are at many times cheaper then their hardback or paperback counterparts. Some books are only available  in ebook format. There also is the added bonus that some ebooks are Free to read!


I do love to hold a book in my hand and see the cover. BUT I think ebooks are so portable and easy to use. Just make sure you have a charger near by. Ebooks are also just as easy to share with friends as an actual book. I will always love printed material in any way, shape, or form I can get it. I believe that my first choice would be a physical book. Ebooks are the best to read in the dark!


Beyond the Blog--

How do I engage with books outside my blog? My number one go to is the library. They have so many options of movies and books and magazines. The librarians and other library patrons are a great way to find out about new and upcoming books. They have great recommendations. If you don't utilize your local library, you really should go check it out!

Goodreads is also great for book recommendations. I love keeping track of what I read. I can write about it one time and refer back to it. It even helps me with my blog as far as referring back to the books I have read. You can even connect with other readers and authors here. They also give away free books. I really love Goodreads.

Have you heard of Shelf Awareness? It is another great site for readers and bloggers. There are separate pages, one for readers, and one for the book trade (bloggers). Shelf Awareness connects you with authors. They have reviews and general book news. They also occasionally have free book connections and links to other book sites. I try to check Shelf Awareness several times a week. They put out a daily edition for the book trade and on Tuesday and Friday they have a reader edition.

All of these things added together help with my blog and keep me busy when I am not blogging. Most of the websites I check deal with books or movies. I always love connecting with other bloggers and other readers. Reading is my number one way to pass the time.




Thursday, May 12, 2016

Armchair BEA: Day Two- Aesthetic Concerns-Books and Blogs

   Do I judge a book by its cover? Sometimes! If I find the cover to be questionable I will read the book flap to see if it is a topic that will interest me. If the cover draws me in, I might pick up the book without knowing what it is about. Most covers are not enough to make me pick up a book. Many times even if I like the cover, I will read the flap before I decide. Some books surprise me. I have read books with beautiful covers that were bad. I have also read books with plain non-attention grabbing covers that managed to become my favorite stories.
    I do get confused sometimes when a cover does not go at all with the storyline. I really hate when the flap says one thing, and the story is different. I feel it is misleading to readers for the cover or flap to not go with the story. I guess most of my decisions are based on the flap and not the cover. The cover being different does not bother me nearly as bad as a flap or description that is misleading concerning the storyline.
   As far as books being standard for me I don't have that problem. I just love to read. I honestly do not care if the book is hardback, paperback. no slipcover, or kindle. I am more worried about the story inside than what the outside of my books look like. I do tend to arrange my shelves with series together, but that is more for ease of finding then for aesthetic reasons. Some of my series are a mix up of paperback, hardback, and kindle, all in the same series.


As far as my blog is concerned, I do the best I can to make the aesthetics as pleasing as possible. I do not have the advantage of some blogs. No one sponsors me or advertises on my blog. I do not make money doing blogging. The reason I blog is too mostly share my opinions and ideas and to connect with other readers and watchers. I wish some parts of my blog were more visually pleasing, but I am not skilled at all the pictures and links so I just do the best I can, and hope for readers who are forgiving. I guess I hope they will read what I have to say and worry less about how it looks.

I would like to gradually improve the aesthetic of my blog. Hopefully with summer coming up and schedules relaxing a little, I will be able to learn some new things that will help make my blog look better. If I never get beyond what I know now, that is okay too. This blog is for me, not to please anyone else. I do enjoy having people look at my blog and comment. I don't let that dictate when and if I will blog, or how I will go about doing it.


Thanks for stopping by! I hope you all are enjoying Armchair BEA!!!!

Armchair BEA!!!!! Day One-Introductions

I always enjoy participating in Armchair BEA. I wish I had the money and the time to attend the actual event, but alas that is not going to happen.  I love meeting all the new bloggers throughout Armchair BEA and I look forward to it every year.

This blog is my little world where I get to review books and movies.  I enjoy talking to others about their recommendations and dislikes on these subjects. I live in a very small town that is not very helpful in the blogging department. My blog is basic. I recently acquired a MAC and I am still learning the ins and outs, so you won't see a lot of color or pictures, unless or until I get this all figured out. My blog may not look the best, but I put my best effort into it!

So onward to the answers to the questions:

1. Do you have a favorite book?   When I was young my mom had several reader's digest condensed books. I fell in love with The Suitcases by Anne Hall Whit. A few years back I was able to obtain a first issue of the complete book, it has been out of print for years. I finally was able to read the whole story. I have read it several times and have enjoyed it every time!

2. What is your favorite genre and why?   I really love YA.  Reading YA lets me escape into another world and relive my past. I also have a love for ghost stories and True Crime tales.

3. If you could recommend one book blogger, Who would it be, and why?  I would have to go with Bookhounds YA. I love the wide variety of reviews and giveaways. Their little pup makes me smile. AND they actually reply and interact , which is much appreciated!

4. If you could choose three characters to have lunch with, who would you choose, and why? I would choose Vivian from Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. I would love to hear her talk about her life and she just seems like someone I would connect with and could learn a lot from. I love history and she would bring it to life for me.    My second choice would be Caspian from The Hollow Series by Jessica Verday. The Hollow Series was the series that got me hooked on YA. Caspian is a favorite character and I would love to pick his brain. I cannot describe him or it would ruin the story for future readers.   My third choice would be Jenni from the As The World Dies series by Rhiannon Frater. She is a housewife, but so brave, and strong, and daring. She is who I would want to be if I was stuck in the zombie apocalypse.


Thanks to everyone that took the time to check out my blog! I appreciate new readers and love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Websites I Love That Aren't About Books!

10.  Amazon- I like to check out the reviews on movies and buy items from here too!

 9.  Redbox- always looking for a new movie to rent!

 8.  Twitter- there are some seriously funny folks on here!

 7. My yahoo- Gotta check that mail!

 6. Facebook- It's a problem!!

 5. Trip Advisor- I like to check out the reviews of places I am going

 4. ComingSoon.net- A great place to find the latest TV, film, games, and trailers

 3. People- Has the latest on celebrities and hollywood happenings

 2. EW- The Entertainment Weekly website. This is my favorite magazine.

 1. Rotten Tomatoes- Helps me decide if a movie is worth scouting out

I realize these are some very basic choices. Since my blog is about entertainment, most of the sites I visit are book sites. These are my top choices for the non-reading world, which is pretty much non-existent for me! LOL

Monday, May 9, 2016

Movie Review: The Revenant

I really enjoyed The Revenant. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the movie. Tom Hardy is almost unrecognizable in his role, and is the character you will love to hate! Fans of Dances With Wolves should enjoy the Revenant. Be prepared to spend 3 hours on the couch.  DiCaprio is convincing as a loving father and obviously knows how to make it in the wild.

Armchair BEA 2016: Coming Soon!!

Stay tuned for Armchair BEA posts....coming this week!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Movie Review: Spotlight

Spotlight is a true story of abuse. Sadly that abuse is hidden behind religion. It is a sad that in today's world you cannot even trust those who are religious leaders. It amazed me that so many coverups all over the world were highlighted at the end of the film.
The journalist in charge of Spotlight, which is basically an investigative column run by the Boston Globe, are brave and demand attention. The parts were well played by the leads. The fact that they all grew up in the Catholic church hit close to home. I am sure we have all heard about Priests abusing children in the church. You will be amazed at how big of a problem it is and how deep the knowledge and denial goes.
Check out the Bonus features! One of the best shows the real life reporters and revisits their experiences while running Spotlight. You can see how invested they were in making a difference, when they tell you how much they missed at home because they were working. If you stop and think about how many families have been effected by this abuse, it will blow your mind.

***Obviously, this is a story about sexual abuse, therefore, it is for adults only.

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Books To Make You Laugh

Top Ten Tuesday is The Grand Idea of The Broke and The Bookish and you can find this weeks Top Ten Lists Here: http://www.brokeandbookish.com

I don't read a lot of humor so lets see how this goes?!

10.

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society

 9.

Big Little Lies

 8. 

Undead (Undead #1)

 7. 

It's Not Necessarily Not the Truth: Dreaming Bigger Than the Town You're From

 6. 

I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections

 5. 

Devilish

 4. 

House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer's Journey Home

3. 

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated


Okay, that's it...I honestly can't come up with two more. Sad, isn't it. I guess that a Top Eight will be all you get for this week! OOPS!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Book Review: Hotel Ruby

Being a huge ghost fan and finding hotels to be creepy, this was a perfect read for me. Sure, I had some of it figured out before the end, but who cares. There were surprises around every corner and the story moved at a lightning fast pace. The characters were very well written and easy to love or hate, depending on who you were referring to. I am honestly hoping she writes another book based in the world of Hotel Ruby. I think there may still be stories there. I loved the ending and thought it was a perfect finish! Bravo Suzanne Young, you got yourself a new reader!

Movie Review: The Forest

Having heard about the Suicide Forest at the Base of Mount Fuji, I was expecting this one to be super creepy. WRONG!! This was a total waste of Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney's talent. Sure they both look great, but even that cannot save this one. There is no story line here and so many things are left unexplained. The scares are only "jump" scares, and they are not done well. This forest deserved a better story. You won't find it here! I honestly cannot think of anyone who would like this film. It's a stinker!! Stay Away! Not worth the rental fee!