Safe

I can’t believe I read this all in one day! I was sick in bed so that helped. I love dystopian and this book by Dawn Housted did not disappoint. It was fast paced and kept me interested on each page. The three main characters are Penny, James, and Lucan and I loved them all and they are all so different from each other. I truly cared for each character, even when they did something wrong.
One of my favorite things about Safe is the world that Husted crafted. It’s very different from our own and at times very scary once Penny learns the true background behind the town she grew up in. People are born with ‘vines’ where their veins are black and show up throughout their body. The more vines a person has the stronger they are. A Perimeter is set up around the island they live in so infected people without vines can’t get in. That in returns means they can’t get out. But some babies are born without them and are thought to be infected and spreading the disease, but are they? I can’t wait to read more by this author, I really love her writing style.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19547736-safe

FIVE-STARS

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The Godfather

Just finished reading The Godfather and it gave me a lot to think about. It was an epic book and I enjoyed it. I can see why it’s a classic. 

On the flip side of that, I, unfortunately, thought the movies were much better. So if your on the line about what to do: read the book or watch the movies, I would just watch the movies, they are done better. 

The Good stuff: The Godfather is truly an iconic book. It brings you to the heart of gangsters of the 1940s. The book is gritty and graphic and doesn’t hold back on sexism or racism of its time. I liked getting to understand the underworld of the Corleone family and how it got its start and the individuals in the family. Even if part of the family tried to stay out of the family business it sucked them in anyway. I felt like no character was all bad or all good, “It’s just business.” This book has so many quoteables, some of which I didn’t even realize came from this book, most of which are in the movies. 

A difference between the books and movies: Once difference I noticed in the books and movies where that some of the characters came across differently. For example, in the book, I really liked Sonny and was sad about what ended up happening to him. He was a dynamic character with flaws, but he seemed more real to me than any of the other characters. 

In the movie my favorite character was Michael. He was cool and collected but didn’t want anything to do with the family business, until he was forced into it. In the book, it starts off like this, but his call to arms for the family comes without much hesitation. In the book, he is kind of boring and too much like his dad. It’s like a story with two different characters, but they are exactly the same. 

One thing that makes the movies so much better than the books is the cutting of unnecessary plot and characters. I could have done without ever meeting Johnny or Lucy and been better off never learning of their characters. I’m not really sure why they are there at all. They bring absolutely nothing to the table at all. 

The unfortunate: The main thing that got on my nerves reading this book, also why I’m giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is the writing. I’m not sure if the editors of this book just thought it wasn’t going to do well, so hardly made any changes, or editors back then just didn’t do as good of a job as editors now? Whatever the cause, the book has very weak prose. I constantly saw b for h mixed up in multiple words and other similar mix-ups. And the way Puzo writes just drove me a little crazy. He would explain something, then he would show it happen, and just to make sure you didn’t miss anything give you a rundown of what happened a few pages later. Sometimes I wonder if he even read his manuscript more than once before turning in to the editor. And this happens throughout the book. I’m thinking maybe the rules of writing weren’t around back then or maybe he just didn’t bother to look them up, but there is so much info dumping going on at every stage of this book.

When we finally meet the other 5 families we get an info dump for each one in case you really needed to know all their backstories of how they came to power and what their main bracket of power they hold (drugs, politicians, police, gambling, or prostitutes.)

Also, this book is pretty much all show an no tell. I didn’t really realize how much this bothered me until I read this book. 

I still recommend this book and enjoyed it despite the writing. 

gold star

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#WIP Talk: The Life Choices Writing Tag

RULES

My current WIP is for a New Year’s anthology. So glad to be writing a short story for once. It follows Clarissa. She had recently ended a relationship with her boyfriend of two years because they both agreed that the relationship had become stale and boring. With New Year’s approaching Clarissa is hoping to find someone new and exciting at a masquerade ball her and her best friend Nichole are attending. Will she find the right someone, or realize she misses her ex?

  • This is pretty focused on main characters but don’t hesitate to use several characters for the answers if you want to! (We want to get to know as many of your characters as possible)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Where does your main character (MC) live? Were they born there, or did they move to that place?

Clarissa lives in Anytown USA

 

Does your MC have a dream career? What (if anything) stops them from pursuing it?

Clarissa doesn’t really have a current dream job. She doesn’t care for the job she currently has which is selling insurance over the phone, but she keeps her head up in case she figures out what she wants. Her ex Philip was very encouraging of her finding something she loved.

Did any of your characters ever go against their parents/family’s wishes? How did that change their relationship?

No parents in this story 😊

If faced with their greatest fear – would your MC try to overcome it or run the other way?

I guess I’d say run away until she had time to analyze it.

Did any character have to cut a person out of their life? Why?

She tried unsuccessfully to cut her ex Philip out of her life, but she has troubles doing so. He feels the same way about her. They have now boiled down to friends with benefits.

What is your main character’s biggest regret?

Not being able to move on and cut Philip out of her life completely.

Which character is most likely going to help a stranger, even if they got nothing out of it in return?

Probably Philip? He’s a nice guy.

If your character got good/bad news, who would be the person they first tell?

Clarissa would definitely tell her bff Nichole any news, she always does.

BONUS: Make an aesthetic for your MCs life if there had been no obstacles (money, geographical, etc.) and they had everything they wanted. (It is up to you if you want to explain it or not!)

maks

American Gods

This is another book I put into a lot of book tags, but realized I hadn’t given a review yet. 

I really like Neil Gaiman’s writing. It is wonderful and his descriptions are great and I can see and understand all the things he describes. But that’s where I stopped liking this particular book of his. 

The concept of this book was really interesting to me any God you warship comes to live because of your belief in them. And in modern day. Very intriguing indeed. 

But these American Gods are actually very boring and don’t really have much of importance to do from day to day except stay relevant to stay alive or they will “die” so to speak. 

I was hoping someone like Odin would have more of a meaningful and exciting life, but he is more of some kind of mob boss, and not a very good and organized one at that. Most of his other friends are close to fading away and kind of live sad lives. 

Most of this story takes place through a character named Shadow’s eyes. He is a go with the flow kind of guy and basically does whatever Odin tells him to. I got to the 75% of this book and DNF’d. Shadow was running around a small town on some side mission and I guessed what was happening (my husband had read this book first and confirmed I was correct.) I was tired of this side story and was annoyed that Gaiman seemed to be going for some word count than giving me a well-rounded story that stayed on track. My husband filled me in on the rest of the story and I didn’t even feel compelled to read the rest.

3stars

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The Time Traveler’s Wife

This is the first book I have ever read with time travel. I think it really takes a unique spin on time traveling especially since the main character has no control over when or where he travels to. 

I really didn’t know much about this book, a friend suggested it to me and I’m glad she did. I really enjoyed this read, mostly because the concept was so unique to me. 

The author really makes the story complex because, well, in unexpected time travel that tends to happen. The timeline is out of order for Henry. He could be traveling back in time, or forward in time. He may or may not know the people he runs into, it might even be himself! And apparently, time travel in this universe is in the buff!

Because of this Henry leads a life that is out of control most of the time. He isn’t an upstanding citizen and had a problem with drugs and women. 

Clare is the one person (besides himself) that seems to keep popping up in his time travels. Sometimes she knows him, sometimes not. Sometimes she is expecting his pop up visit when he didn’t know he would be there. 

Finally, they meet in real time, which is interesting. The love story between the two is cute and romantic, although Clare falls for him so fast and hard it’s a little scary (she is way younger when he starts dropping in on her.) 

So my thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, but there were some weird awkward parts throughout. *SPOILER* Like the time Henry tricks himself into a sexual act and doesn’t want to return the favor to himself…weird, awkward…strange. There are some very sad scenes in the book too after the couple is married, but it went with the story, although it lasted a long time.

Despite the bumps in this story I really enjoyed it and will probably read it again.

FIVE-STARS

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Book Signing

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So, yesterday I went to my first book signing and had a great time, despite having a migraine. It was Book Fest in Brenham, TX (I only live  an hour and a half away.) It was the second year they were having the fest and the first year they opened it to more authors. In the past, they only had authors who contributed work to the local art gallery, but this year all authors were welcome. 

I had never been to Brenham before, despite the Blue Bell factory being there (it’s the towns local attraction.) If you don’t know what Blue Bell ice cream is you are missing out!  The town reminded me of the one I grew up in. It’s small with a lot of charm.

 

 

(My hair looks a little weird, but you can tell I’m excited)

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I got to meet some pretty neat authors while there and sold 6 copies of my books (three of each in my two-part series.) I think besides selling books a great part of the experience was getting to know the other authors. 

So, of course, I had to buy a few books myself! I got Lotus by Shirley Nolan and Safe by Dawn Husted. I also got a surprise when my back was turned around. Scott Hill poped his book into my take home box when I wasn’t looking of his children’s book Lily Helps Her Dad. I had told him that my daughter’s name was Lily and she looked just like the girl in the pictures. 

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Can’t wait for my next book signing in Oct!

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Wuthering Hights

*Warning* this is probably going to be an unpopular opinion review, but at least it’s honest. 

When I broke into this book I was just like wow! This love story between Catherine and Heathcliff is amazing. (hopefully, that wasn’t a spoiler) I just fell in love with the intensity of their love story. From childhood to teens and young adults, they just got each other, even when Catherine is being taught how to act properly and they are separated for a time Heathcliff is still the person who understands her.

Heathcliff is an orphan who is adopted by Catherine’s father and love ensues. But there are major setbacks (at least for them) Heathcliff has none of his own money and Catherine is a rich spoiled brat, so she can’t go down in the society pole, instead, to keep them together Heathcliff decides to go and make his own fortune. 

*Possible spoilers*

This is where things go downhill as you can imagine. Three years later Heathcliff finally returns. But Catherine didn’t wait that long for the boy she loved as herself but was too arrogant to agree to marriage so she married someone of her own economic standing. 

She still wants him to love her as much as he did before he left, but keeps him at arm’s length because she is married. One of those, “If I can’t have you no one can.” mentalities. Heathcliff keeps waiting for the Catherine he knew and love to come back, but she never shows up.

Instead, this becomes a book of Heathcliff’s revenge. He has no interest in Catherine’s husband’s sister but starts flirting with her to make Catherine jealous. Also to piss off Edgar, Catherine’s husband. This is where the book turns into a love triangle of sorts. I stopped reading somewhere around here because the book turned pretty petty and these people were no longer the people I fell in love with at the beginning of the book. The way Catherine treats Heathcliff when he returns is appalling. At one point she even tells him that even if he had returned earlier that she would have still married Edgar because Heathcliff was born in the wrong family (that was pretty much when I started hating her, I’m sure that’s when Heathcliff started seeking revenge as well). 

If this book had ended differently, or there were more redeeming qualities about these people I’m sure I would have liked this book, but instead it was depressing and disappointing to me. 

one star

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Captian’s Couragous

This book by Rudyard Kipling is one of my favorites!! I actually saw the movie first with Spencer Tracy. The movie really captured me (probably middle school) with the relationship between Manuel and Harvey. My dad wasn’t exactly affectionate and I was just enamored that a father figure could be so caring and cultivate a positive personal growth. 

Therefore, in high school when we had to bring a book to read, of course, I chose Captian’s Courageous (well one of many).  I ended up loving the book as well, although, I think I liked the movie just a little more than the book. 

There are some significant differences. For example, in the movie he’s like 12 and in the book he’s 15, that’s a huge difference and it changes the aspect of the relationships on the boat. Instead of Harvey being besties with Manuel he is besties with Dan the Captian’s son, who is the same age as Harvey. The father figure switches from Manuel to Captian Disko. 

Harvey’s story is great in either aspect because his character arc is so significant. He starts off as a billionaire brat who is hard to stand and ends up a young man with a stand-up personality. He falls off his luxury cruise ship and Manuel picks him up floating in the water. Captian Disko doesn’t believe Harvey’s dad is as rich as he says and they are in the middle of fishing season, so he refuses to let down his crew and the money they will make by taking a detour bringing Harvey back. Harvey is forced to work with the crew to earn food and other luxuries on the boat (along with respect of the crew of course.)

Of all the books I have ever read I feel that in this one the character arc could be studied in writing classes it is so strong. This book is definitely a character-driven book and those are my favorites! If you too like character-driven books with adventure and no romance, this book is for you.

FIVE-STARS

captians couragous

Pre-Order!

Guys I have been so busy…school started this week for teachers, so I’m probably just going to be on my blog and yours on the weekends again. I really enjoyed being more active on my blog over the summer and can’t wait to be more active during breaks.

Anyhow, I’m on my finishing touches of the next book in the Vermilion series and Vermilion Whispers is now on Amazon for pre-sale!!! Only .99 for now and on release day I’m going to up it to 3.99.

The Circle

I realize I put The Circle in a lot of book tags, but I’ve never actually reviewed the book, so here goes. The thing is, I really wanted to like this book I really did. I mean the premise is so intriguing. A powerful company like Facebook and it’s working environment become a sort of dystopian atmosphere for its employees. The companies motto is no secrets and wants everyone to put every last thing they did or ate on social media (sounds familiar) The main character Mae is a smart girl and begins to unravel some of the mysteries of the company. But that’s, unfortunately, where the exciting part ends for me and the boring part begins. 

 I thought Mae, the main character, was very flat and boring, and she really disappointed me in the end. The conversations between the characters were very strange as well as the sex scenes. There was way too much info-dumping going on, which consisted of pretty much the entire book. I guess I’m not a numbers person because the numbers in the book got old really fast. This could have been just really great but wasn’t executed correctly. 

two stars

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