Monday, 8 December 2014

Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb

I already had this book checked out but I didn't plan on reading until later this month. But then I saw the commercial for Lifetime's Wishin' and Hopin' movie while watching A Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever so I moved it to the top of my TBR pile.

Here is the book description:

Wishin and Hopin: A Christmas Story is a fictional novel set in 1964. LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and 10-yr old Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette Funicello!) is doing his best to navigate 5th grade-easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy. But there are several things young Felix can depend on: the birds and bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he's never going to forget.

This book was so well written I had a hard time believing it was fictional. I thought for sure it had to have been on some of Wally Lamb's childhood experiences but at the end of the book he says how the stories came from other people. So I guess parts of it was somehwat true.

This novel was such a change from the usual Christian based, overly sentimental, sappy Christmas genre. It was a coming of age story that was politically incorrect, funny, and dirty. There were some dirty jokes, making out, and even do I put this? I'll just say it has to do with boys and their body parts having a mind of their own.

My favorite character in the story was Zhenya Kabakova. I loved her personality and her accent. I didn't realize Russian girls were so progressive! Madame Frechette was my least favorite character. She was annoying and obcessed with making the kids speak French.

The book builds up to this crazy play and live pictures where everyone creates a scene by posing (I can't remember the French name for them). The performance goes wrong in hilarious ways which I will not spoil.

Oddly enough there is a part that while it was funny while it was happening, it does end up being a more serious issue. The reason Madame Frechette does end up becoming their substitute is because their regular teacher has a mental breakdown because of a bat. It turns out this nun is bipolar.

This book was hilarious and great fun. I was sad when it ended. My rating Photobucket

The Movie
I did watch the movie and it was great. It kept most of the dirty jokes and political incorrectness. The actors and actresses they chose were perfect. I think it was one of the best Christmas movies I have seen in a long time. I hope it becomes a classic and is right up there with A Christmas Story. It's definately the same type of movie.

The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere

I love the song The Christmas Shows by Newsong so when I saw this book at my library I knew I just had to read it. I finished it back on November 30 and read it during The Christmas Spirit Readathon but have been crazybusy and am just now getting me review up. 

The book description:

Sometimes, the things that can change your life will cross your path in one instant-and then, in a fleeting moment, they're gone. But if you open your eyes, and watch carefully, you will believe.... 

Robert is a successful attorney who has everything in life-and nothing at all. Focused on professional achievement and material rewards, Robert is on the brink of losing his marriage. He has lost sight of his wife, Kate, their two daughters, and ultimately himself. Eight year old Nathan has a beloved mother, Maggie, whom he is losing to cancer. But Nathan and his family are building a simple yet full life, and struggling to hold onto every moment they have together. A chance meeting on Christmas Even brings Robert and Nathan together-he is shopping for a family he hardly knows and Nathan is shopping for a mother he is soon to lose. In this one encounter, their lives are forever altered as Robert learns an important lesson: sometimes the smallest things can make all the difference. The Christmas Shoes is a universal story of the deeper meaning of serendipity, a tale of our shared humanity, and of how a power greater than ourselves can shape, and even save, our lives.

I feel bad because I honestly didn't expect this book to be very good. I started it wondering if it was just some sort of media tie in to make the song more popular. It was good. So good that I found myself crying during much of it. I cried even though I knew what was coming.

I loved how both families were tied together. Maggie is a wonderful person and mother and it is easy to like her and care about her. All of the characters are likeable...well almost.

Robert is a jerk. He's stubborn and I'm still angry about the way he spoke to his mother. He wasn't too likable but I think maybe that may have been the point. He's a modern day Scrooge and they aren't really supposed to be likable. I did care about him enough to root for him to turn around his life and save his marriage.

The climatic part of the book where he meets Nathan in the store buying shoes didn't disappoint. It was a great scene and I can easily imagine the moment when Robert looked into Nathan's eyes and was a changed man.

What I hated the most was afterwards when his wife asks him "Why have you changed?' Robert actually says "I don't know."

Really? You don't know? Now I didn't expect him to tell his wife about the encounter in the store. I can understand why he might want to keep that to himself but I felt like he was lying to Kare when he says he doesn't know.

My favorite part of the book was the ending. I don't want to spoil it but I will say Robert and Nathan's paths cross again and it was the best part of the book.

My rating  Photobucket

This book was also made into a movie but I have yet to watch it. Hopefully I will get that done this month and write a movie review.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon Info and Reading Challenge Info

Once again kicking off the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge (the 5TH year, I might add!) at The Christmas Spirit, it's the Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon...and this year it's a week long. Yay!


Read-a-Thon dates: Monday, November 24 at 12:00am CST until Sunday, November 30 at 11:59pm CST (adjust your time zone accordingly)

You do not have to be signed up for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge to participate (but I sure would love for you to join us!)

I am not requiring that you read only Christmas/holiday books during the read-a-thon, but I hope you will pick up at least one holiday tale, even if it's just to read some children's books with your kids or some holiday short stories

To check in on Twitter, we'll use hashtag #CSreadathon

As usual, you do not have to have a blog to participate...feel free to link up and check in from Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, etc.


Challenge will run from Monday, November 24, 2014 through Tuesday, January 6, 2014 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).

Cross over with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!

These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, and for the first time...a children's Christmas books level!

 --Candy Cane: read 1 book
 --Mistletoe: read 2-4 books
 --Christmas Tree: read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)
 Additional levels:
 --Fa La La La Films: watch a bunch or a few Christmas's up to you!
 --Visions of Sugar Plums: read books with your children this season and share what you read

 *the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above

Lifetime’s Miniseries “The Red Tent,” Based on the Best-selling Novel by Anita Diamant

Lifetime’s miniseries “The Red Tent,” based on the best-selling novel by Anita Diamant, premieres December 7 and December 8 at 9/8c. “The Red Tent” is a sweeping tale that takes place during the times of the Old Testament, told through the eyes of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob. Airing over two nights, the all-star cast includes Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Minnie Driver (“Return to Zero,” “About a Boy”), Emmy nominee Morena Baccarin (“Homeland”), Golden Globe nominee Rebecca Ferguson (“The White Queen”), Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones”), Will Tudor (“Game of Thrones”) and Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Debra Winger (“Terms of Endearment”).

The miniseries begins with Dinah’s (Ferguson) happy childhood spent inside the red tent where the women of her tribe gather and share the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood. The film recounts the story of Dinah’s mothers Leah (Driver), Rachel (Baccarin), Zilpah and Bilhah, the four wives of Jacob (Glen). Dinah matures and experiences an intense love that subsequently leads to a devastating loss, and the fate of her family is forever changed. Winger portrays Rebecca, Jacob’s mother while Tudor stars as Joseph, Dinah’s brother.

 “The Red Tent” has sold millions of copies worldwide and has been translated in 28 languages. The novel is a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today and Entertainment Weekly Top Ten Best Seller.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Kiss For Midwinter (Brothers Sinister series) by Courtney Milan

It's funny how in the last review I said when it comes to books I'm more a HBO than a Lifetime kind of girl, because that is the kind of book that I chose this time. It was like Sex and the City meets the 19th century and I postively loved it.

But first the book description: 

Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can't forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him...or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way. 

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He's been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he's determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. And he has a plan to do it. 

If only his plans didn't so often go awry... 

A Kiss for Midwinter is a historical romance Christmas novella in the Brothers Sinister series.

I chose this book because it was a novella on this Goodreads list of Christmas and winter novellas. In all honesty, I don't particularly like historical romances especially those in the time period of the 19th century because well...they seemed pretty uptight when it comes to all matters regarding sex.

This novella describes Jonas Grantham which may well be the most progressive doctor to have ever fictionally lived in the 19th century. He's also the wittiest and has an amazing dry sarcastic sense of humor. Exactly the kind of man I go for. Maybe that's why I loved the book so much and tweeted that I didn't want it to end. Jonas Grantham is my type.

He's not every one's type though. He is obnoxious, crude, has questionable social skills, is far too forward, and offers advise about the use of prophylactics including the Dutch cup (cervical cap) and French letters (condoms). Yet all of these reasons are both why Lydia hates him and is drawn to him. She has to walk a careful line with him. She wants nothing to do with him but at the same time he knows a secret that could ruin her. 

Because of this she humors him at first and then agrees to a bet that just may get rid of him permanently. It's a 19th century version of Arianna Grande's lyric "I'd have one less problem without you." As the story progresses, she starts to wonder if she really does want to be rid of him.

My favorite love stories are those where the couple starts off hating each other. What's that saying? Hate is passion too. Or something like that. Whatever it is I loved this book and was disappointed when it ended. 

The book also had a surprising subplot. Jonas has to deal with his sick father who is a hoarder. The story explores the complex issue of having to deal with a loved one who suffers from hoarding. Since hoarding is caused by the mental health condition of obsessive-compulsive disorder, this book qualifies for the Mental Illness Advocacy Reading Challenge.

I will be reading more from this author in the future. She made me like historical romance and that's saying something. My rating is an enthusiastic Photobucket

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

Let me begin by saying this is not the kind of book I normally read. There's just something about most Christmas novels that feel like Lifetime movies. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just that I'm more of a HBO kind of girl.

Despite that I did enjoy The Christmas Cat. Here is the book description:

After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends--plus a sizeable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison's job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay. 

Humorous and heartwarming, this latest Christmas story from bestselling author Melody Carlson is the perfect gift for pet lovers and anyone in whose heart Christmas holds a special place.

I suppose I probably enjoyed this book so much because I am a cat lover. I have four of them. I also really liked that the story was told from a guy's point of view. That rarely happens in romance novels.

I also liked that Garrison was not a super rich, perfect kind of guy. He was an "average joe." It was refreshing to read about the kind of guy I might meet at the grocery store instead of one that I would only bump into if I was in the Hamptons. Even though he was returning to his hometown he wasn't walking around thinking he was better than all the small town folk and about how backwards they were. Garrison truly knew and respected his roots.

The one thing I didn't like about this novella is that I wish Garrison had told more stories about his experiences in Africa. It was such an interesting backstory but Carlson didn't do much with it. I also wish she would have gone more into Garrison's adjustment to being back in the United States. He was gone for nine years. Can you imagine being in Africa for nearly a decade and then coming back home? Things would be so different.

It was a little disappointing that I could predict how the story was going to end by page 100 but it is a romance story. Besides the biggest love story in this book is not between Garrison and Cara but involves a small four legged hairy beast. And that was my favorite part of the book. My rating Photobucket

Saturday, 8 November 2014

My Selfie for the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon

A photo posted by Julie Cornewell (@juliecornewell) on

You can find the "Holiday Reading Selfie" Mini-challenge at The Book Nympho

2015 Reading Bites Challenge Info and Sign Up Page

I love anything to do with vampires. One of my favorite sayings is "Forget being a princess. I want to be a vampire!" Well, I haven't been reading as many books about vampires as I would like so I created a vampire themed reading challenge for 2015.

I'm inviting others who love the vampire book genre to join me for this reading challenge. This is a design it yourself challenge. I want you to choose your own reading goals.

The Rules: 
This challenge begins January 1, 2015 and ends Dec 31, 2015.

You may sign up anytime during the year.

I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want.

You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks.

Books may be YA, adult, horror, romance, etc. 

You may reread books.

Books may count towards other reading challenges.

Use the hashtag #2015ReadingBites

If you could be so kind, please place the The Reading Bites Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word.

Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word. 

Signing Up 
Before signing up, please create a post or page where you will list all the books you have read and then use that link for your Mr. Linky below. 

If you don't have a blog you can still sign up by using a link to your Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and so on.

The Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon Goals (Revised 11/8)

BookShelfery - HoHoHo Readathon

I thought this read-a-thon started yesterday so I'm posting a day late. The Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon is hosted by BookShelfery and Caffienated Book Reviewer. Here is more info:

Read-a-thon Rules
  • For this read-a-thon you must read holiday themed or winter setting reads.
  • Link-up Before or on November 6th post a goals post to your blog. (if you do not have a blog post to another social media site such as Goodreads, Tumblr, Facebook, Google+ etc ) Be sure and link back to Caffeinated Book Reviewer and BookShelfery 
  • Grab the button and share ! 
  • Participate in at least one challenge to be eligible for grand prize 
  • Tweet your progress using #HoHoHoRAT 
  • Twitter Party! Sunday November 9, 2014 at 4pm (EST) chatting and prizes to be had. 
  • Challenge schedule and Grand Prize widget and rules will post on November 6th by 8 am (EST) 
  • Read-a-thon starts on November 6th 12:o1 am (your time zone) and ends on November 11 at 11:59 pm(your time zone) 
  • Challenges will be open from 8 am (EST) on the 6th and remain open until Nov 11th at 11:59 pm (EST) 
  • Grand Prize Raffle will be open until November 13th at 11:59 pm (EST) to allow you to submit entries. 
  • All winners of challenges and grand prize will be notified by November 15th.
The Ho-Ho-Ho Mini Challenges

Bea @ Bea’s Book Nook “Word Scramble Challenge”
Trish@ Between the Lines “Name That Book”
Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts “Holiday Wish Challenge”
April @ My Shelf Confessions “Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon Puzzle”
Melissa & Truffles @ Mochas, Mysteries and Meows  “Christmas Truffles’ Purr-fect Holiday Reading List Challenge”
Ginny @ Gin’s Book Notes “Build a Snowman Challenge”
Jennifer @The Book Nympho “Holiday Reading Selfie”

My Goals for The Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon

Goal #1 Read A Winter's Tale by Mark Heprin. 
Now this book is far from a novella (see the Novella Novermber Challenge) but I have been planning on reading it for a few weeks now. I was worried I would have to put it off even longer so was really happy winter themed books are allowed.

Goal #1 Read as many Christmas and winter books as I can especially novellas

I made it to page 210 of Winter's Tale and thought I was going to lose my mind. It's not an easy read at all. I wasn't enjoying it. I may pick it up again in the new year but I have other books that are more of a priority.

At the top of my list is the recently released novella The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

After watching this movie a long time ago I bought the book. It's sat on my shelf unread. I'm so happy I finally read it. A lot of people describe this book as being "like Twilight only with zombies." This is a mostly accurate description.

Here's the book description: 
R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. 

After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world. 

 Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between.

In general, romance novels describe the power of love as being life changing and making one feel alive. In this story, it literally happens. As someone who loves zombie stories this one is refreshingly different.

R is different than other zombies. He's smarter. He's philosophical. He has a sense of humor. And he has a small grasp on the English language still. He also has met and fallen in love with a human. To say they are star crossed lovers is an understatement. Their love won't just save each other, it might just save all the zombies.

The story implies that what has happened to the world is some sort of punishment. This is best shown by the presence of the Bonies. These are supernatural monsters that are like demons, if demons all shared a mind like a group of skeletal robots. They are determined to preserve a certain order among the zombies that gets disrupted by R falling in love with Julie.

My absolute favorite quote from this book (and now my favorite quote ever from any book) goes as following:

What a massive responsibility, being a moral creature.

This sums up R's internal struggle. He has to fight his zombie nature and figure out how to be a human again. My rating is a solid Photobucket

The Movie
The movie isn't as good as the book. The plot with the Bonies is confusing and the story feels rushed. The movie lacks the philosophical elements of the book but does keep the humor. It also lacks the more supernatural elememts that are in the book and is a more straightforward mmonster movie. Then ending isn't as dramatic as the book.

The Prequel
I had no idea that there was a prequel to Warm Bodies until I was at today. The prequel is called The New Hunger.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Novella November Reading Challenge

Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads are hosting a reading challenge that goes right along with NaNoWriMo. They are having the Novella November Reading Challenge. A novella is a long short story (yes I know that's an oxymoron) that is 20,000 words to 50,000 words long (which equals about 80 to 200 pages.)

If you are doing NaNoWriMo like I am, you don't have a lot of time to read. Not to mention reading novellas certainly helps show you how to write them. So this reading challenge is perfect for those of us doing NaNoWriMo.

The Goal
Read as many novellas as you can

The Rules
  • The challenge will run from November 1st at 12:00 am until November 30th at 11:59 pm
  •  You can sign up here or at Writer Grrl Reads To join, just make a sign up post and add it to the linky below 
  • Any short story counts, not just those in a series 
  • Any series novellas read during this month will count for double points in the Prequel & Sequel challenge (2 points each instead of 1) 
  • In order to get double points, you must have made a sign up post for this challenge and added it to the linky Sign ups close November 17th 
  • We will try to host a small giveaway for all participants at the end of the challenge!
50 Incredible Novels Under 200 Pages

Goodreads World's Greatest Novellas

Christmas and Winter Novellas

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Feature and Follow

Question of the Week: What books would you give to newbies in your favorite genre? (Ex. I’m a newbie to high fantasy and EVERYONE said to ease into it with the Throne of Glass series!

My answer: My favorite genre is chick lit. I would give newbies the book that launched the entire chick lit genre which is Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding.

The featured blog this week is A Thousand Words, A Million Books.

The Rules of Feature & Follow Friday:
To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
My favorite way to follow is through Bloglovin and now Feature and Follow Friday has graphics to let your readers know. Feel free to follow any way that you want (I'll take all the follows I can get) but I do favor Bloglovin. 

Santa's Little Helper by H. D. Gordon

I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of this ebook for two reasons. It was right before Halloween and it was the first time I had ever gotten an advance copy of a book to review. I have a confession to make though. When I read the book I didn't start with an entirely open mind. I thought the title was a little cheesy and the book would be too.

I was wrong. Very wrong actually.

Here is the book description:

He shows up in a white box, with a bright red book under his arm... He wears a jolly grin and hat, a suit with gold bells and green yarn... He watches you for Santa, or so his red book claims... But though his grin is jolly, he's not here for fun and games... 

The children have been chosen, such precious little souls they are... And may the Gods be with them, if they wish to make it very far... For Santa's Little Helper does not say, but knows important things... He knows when you've been bad or good, and what monsters stalk your dreams... He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake...He's picking out his presents...He's got some souls to take.

H. D. Gordon explained that the idea for Santa's Little Helper from Elf on the Shelf. So when I started the book, I was expecting the elf doll to stay a doll. Santa's Little Helper is far more sophisticated and versatile than that. He has powers like shapeshifting. He also has a true form that is scary as hell.

The story follows how the elf chooses four children and their families. The elf doesn't just attack but behaves like a mental and emotional terrorist in a cat and mouse game. The children that he chooses have a complex family life that sometimes works in their favor and sometimes works in favor of the elf.

While the elf's target is the children, five year olds cannot fight evil by themselves. The children confide in their teacher, their siblings, and their parents in an effort to get help to fight Santa's Little Helper. This is a horror story but it is also about the bonds of family and how the love and sacrifice of parents is often what saves the lives of children. Emphasis on the word sacrifice.

Of the four families, the story about the daughter and her mother dealing with an alcoholic abusive husband and father was my favorite. While all the stories dealt with complex human emotions, this one dealt with what happens when human beings become the monster. At times it was hard to know who was scarier, the killer elf or the abusive man.

Gordon also manages to weaves in philosophical issues such as the moral issue of lying to kids about Santa Claus, what evil is, the nature of God and the Devil, and the significance of losing your childhood innocence.

Simply put, this story is not just about a killer elf doll. It is about many other things as well. Still I'm glad to have read it now before December when I get out the Elf on the Shelf doll. As creepy as this book was, I still will be an Elf on the Shelf mom.

Speaking of Elf on the Shelf, I do worry a bit that H. D. Gordon might run into some copyright issues with this book. In the novel, there is a book that tells a similar background story for the elf doll. At one point Gordon describes the elf doll as being on a shelf. I certainly hope Gordon never has any problems with this.

Lastly, as I read this book I couldn't help but think it would make a really great horror movie. My rating is Photobucket

The book goes on sale at Amazon on Halloween. I was given an advance copy of the book for an honest review. No other compensation was recieved.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

My Reading Goals for the Wonderfully Wicked and Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thons

There are two upcoming read-a-thons that conviently overlap. I will be tweeting throughout these read-a-thons so please follow me @magicbookreview to see my progress!

The first is the Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon which is hosted by My Shelf Confessions. This is a low pressure read-a-thon with no book reqirements. It last's from October 17-27. You can sign up anytime here anytime before Oct 25 and still participate. Reading starts tonight at midnight! Use the hashtag #wwreadathon on social media.

My Reading Goals for the Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon:

Read at least three books.
Book 1: Read the advanced copy I received of Santa's Little Helper by H.D. Gordon.
Book 2: Read a Stephen King book. (I haven't yet decided which one.)
Book 3: Read a book that is part of a reading challenge I have signed up for.

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon is great fun but the opposite of low pressure because you only have one full day to reach your reading goals! There are mini-challenges and prizes throughout the challenge. The read-a-thon is on October 18 but the start times are not simply midnight to midnight. Sign up for the read-a-thon here. If you don't want to participate as a reader but want to support those who have there is also a cheerleader sign up. Hashtags include #Readathon #Dewey #MiniChallenge #RahRahReadathon1

My Reading Goals for Dewey's Read-a-thon:

1. Finish reading Santa's Little Helper by H.D. Gordon if I haven't already done so.
2. Read several short stories.
3. When I've finished Santa's Little Helper, read the Stephen King book.

On top of doing these read-a-thons, I'm also trying to prepare for NaNoWriMo so I'm not putting too much pressure on myself but I think reading is a great way to get in the mindset for writing a novel, so it's really a win-win.

There's another read-a-thon! I just discovered the Reading Cram 2.0: Chills and Thrills Readathon! This read-a-thon is Oct 24 - 31. I think since I will be partway through the Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon I'll see where I'm at and choose my reading goals then.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Wow. Just wow. This novel blew my mind. I started reading it on Monday and I finished reading it about 5 am on Tuesday. The last book I read that fast (and also in two sittings) was the final Harry Potter.

I don't normally read mystery or thrillers so this was a new experience for me in that aspect as well. I get it now. I understand why whodunits are so much fun. It's great fun trying to peice together the clues. I will definately be reading a lot more books in this genre.

The problem is since I don't read mystery or thrillers I don't quite know how to review them either, so bear with me here. I assure you I will not give away any spoilers.

Book Description
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

This novel was about so much more than just Amy's disappearance. This story is about the world's most messed up married couple. Whatever dysfunctional married couple you can think of, this couple will make them look like Mike and Carol Brady.

What I liked about the story is that it was told from two different points of view; that of Nick and that of Amy. It was fascinating to read about how both of them viewed their marriage and the events in their life.

What I truly did not expect was for this story to explore rather deeply misogyny and even though the word is never actuall used, misandry. I was facsinated as to how both Nick and Amy dealt with sexism and the hatred of the opposite sex. This story takes everything that is commonly assumed about domestic abuse and turns it on it's head. The book sincerely explores the idea of the male as the victim in abusive relationships, stalking, and even rape accusation.

It's hard to discuss what happens in Gone Girl without discussing radical feminism and how it has had an impact on marriage, what's expected of women in marriage and relationships, and how they should react when they are angry about it. I consider myself a moderate feminist who rejects radical feminism and as well as the misandry within feminist extremist views, so for me this book was an honest look at those issues. Whether or not Flynn intentionally criticized radical feminism, I don't know, however, I think this book puts the spotlight on real issues in the men's rights movement.

Don't get me wrong. The book is not preachy in any shape or form. Instead it is an action packed highly paced mystery where you aren't sure who the villian really is. However, I didn't like that you learned who it was halfway through the book. I really wish Flynn had kept it secret just a little bit longer.

While the first half of the book is a whodunit, the second half of the book is catching whodunit. I must say that every time the villian got away with something, I felt infuriated. I have never hated a character as much as I did in this book. Hate is not a strong enough word. Despise? All I know is I wanted the villian to be ripped apart from limb to limb. I've never seen a character that was so truly a sociopath through and through. (This makes it qualify for the Suicide and Mental Illness Theme Read.)

This is why I can't wait to see the movie. Ben Afleck is a perfect choice for the role of Nick. As I read Gone Girl, I couuld easily imagine Afleck saying every single line. I heard the movie has a different ending. To be honest, I didn't like the way the novel version of Gone Girl ended so I'm hoping the movie version ends the way I think it should have ended.

Despite the ending, Gone Girl was a wild ride from beginning to end that got me so into it I decided to pretty much stop whatever was going on in my life just so I could read the book. It gets a rare Photobucket

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Appeal of Evil (The Road to Salvation Book 1) by Pembroke Sinclair

Book Description from
Katie wants to invest her heart and soul in love, but she may lose both to Hell. Katie, a senior in high school, is torn between loving the “good” guy, her childhood friend Wes who makes promises he doesn't keep and abandons her when she needs him the most, and the “bad” guy, the new kid at school Josh who is also a real demon from Hell. Katie wants someone who pays attention to her and puts her first, but what is she willing to give up to find him? 

This YA book is a love triangle with one hell of a twist. Literally. 

Katie finds herself torn between two boys. The first is the boy she has been in love with since kindergarten. Unfortunately Wes has never treated her the way that a girl wants to be treated. All Katie longs for is true love, devotion, and a real relationship. Wes leads her on just enough to keep her hooked but never quite delivers.

When Katie meets Josh, the hottest boy in school, it appears as if all her dreams are about to come true. It turns out some of these dreams are something out of a nightmare because Josh is in fact, a demon from Hell. However, he always seems to be there for Katie when Wes fails.

To make matters even more complicated, Katie discovers that Wes is a Praesul, which is an ancient order of demon fighters. Katie finds herself not only trapped between bids for her heart, but smack in the middle of the war between good and evil that has gone on since the beginning of time.

Josh's pursuit of Katie is nothing short of relentless. He is, to put it bluntly, a controlling stalker. What I really liked about this novel is that even though Josh is a demon, he behaves the way any psychopathic stalker and abuser would behave. I think the book is a great lesson for young women on behaviors to look out for in guys that do not have their best interests as heart.

What I also liked about the story was that even though Wes is supposed to be on the good side, his behavior is sometimes questionable. Even though his heart is in the right place, he tends to make decisions over and over that hurt Katie. These behaviors sometimes seem no less manipulative than those of Josh.

This means the book is constantly asking the question, what is good and evil? Penbroke Sincliar does an amazing job of blurring these lines. She asks is a demon capable of love? Any stalker will tell you what he does in pursuit of his obeject of desire is because he loves her so much. Katie can't help but wonder does Josh just do what he does because cares about her so much? If it's because of that, how can it be so wrong?

However, like any situation with an emotionally controlling stalker you know things are going to eventually go bad. Sinclair does a great job of building up the tension in the love traingle. Sinclair doesn't skimp on the action either. I have often read YA books where the author is afraid to actually have anyone get hurt or physically fight. Wes and Josh not only use their minds to fight for Katie, they also use their fists. 

I do have a few complaints about the book. The first is that Katie's thoughts about the boys repeat themselves over and over. Sinclair does a great job of letting us into the mind of Katie, but at times she goes into streams of consciousness that are overwhelming and repetitive.

My second complaint is that Sinclair started what would have been a fascinating subplot of Katie's best friend having a Preasul in her family, but then never follows through on it. The plot thread is left dangling.

Hopefully Sinclair will go back to this story thread in the next book in the series. The way the book ended lets you know the next in the series will take you even deeper into this world of good versus evil and Katie is right in the middle of it. 

Unfortunately Book 2 hasn't been released yet. I guess I'll just have to wait to find out what happens next. Sinclair says she is currently working on the sequel.

My rating: Photobucket

Penbroke Sinclair has a website and also can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Her book can be purchased here.

I was given a copy of the book for an honest review. No other compensation was received.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Guest Blogger: He Knows When You Are Sleeping...

Let’s be honest, the whole idea of that Elf on the Shelf is just creepy. My friend sent me one for my daughters a year ago, but I remember the moment I received it as if it were yesterday.

I was cutting open the box the thing came in, when my phone rang. It was my friend; the one who’d sent the box.

“Did you get it?” she asked, upon my answering.

“Um, yeah, I got it.” I said, pulling the book and the elf doll out of the box. “It’s…cute,” I lied.

My friend laughed. “Read the book to the girls. It tells the story of how the elf was sent there by Santa, to watch over them until Christmas,” she said. “I’ve heard so many parents say that it really gives incentive for kids to behave, because you’re supposed to wait until the kids are asleep, and then sneak into the room and move the elf to a different spot in the house, that way the girls will think it’s flying back to the North Pole every night to report to Santa.” She paused. “Cute, right?”

My lips curled involuntarily as I took in the wide grin on the elf’s plastic face. “Adorable,” I said.

“It’s really popular with children,” she continued. “I think the girls will like it.”

I think I would have buried this thing in the backyard were it given to me as a child, I thought.

“I’m sure they will,” I said.

This answer pleased my friend. My daughters, however–apples from my own tree that they are–were not pleased. We ended up throwing the elf doll away, at my daughters’ adamant request. I didn’t tell my friend this.

Being that I am a writer, with a healthy interest in the macabre, naturally, a story was born of this little episode. That story is called SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER, and it is scheduled to be released on amazon on 10/31/14, but you can pre-order it now for $2.99.

So, if you were one of those children who kept your limbs carefully tucked in, so as not to dangle over the edge of the bed, where any number of unimaginable creatures could take hold, and yank you into the darkness, this book is for you. All those terrors your imagination coughed up as you laid swallowed in shadows, are between the pages.

But, be warned, you might end up throwing out your child’s precious Elf on the Shelf by the end of SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER.

And if you’d like to read a sneak peak of Santa’s Little Helper, you can visit, and go to my blog page to download the first four chapters.

Thank you so much to Julie for allowing me to post on her amazing blog. It’s people like her that truly make my world go ‘round.

Happy Halloween, everyone!
H. D. Gordon

H. D. Gordon is the bestselling author of THE ALEXA MONTGOMERY SAGA, THE JOE KNOWE SERIES, and THE SURAH STORMSONG NOVELS. She is lifelong reader and writer, a true lover of words. When she is not reading and writing, she is busy raising her two daughters and keeping the world’s zombie population under control.

Monday, 29 September 2014

FrightFall Read-a-thon Kickoff Post and Goals

I have had a very unproductive month of reading this past September so the FrightFall Read-a-thon hosted by Seasons of Reading is just the kick in the pants that I need.

I've found that I am far more productive if I set goals at the beginning of a read-a-thon so here are mine:

1. Finish reading The Appeal of Evil (The Road to Salvation Book 1) by Pembroke Sinclair. This was a requested review that is long overdue. The book is about demons so it fits in with the theme of the FrightFall Read-a-thon.

2. Read The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. This book received the most votes in my What's Next post.

3. I have Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn on hold at my library. I never paid much attention to the book until I saw the movie trailer (I love Ben Affleck). Since then I have been practically foaming at the mouth to read the book. I'm #2 in the library queue but I may just decide to buy it if it doesn't become available in time. 

These are some pretty ambitious goals, especially for me. But I want to get the requested review finished and make up for this unproductive month. I'll be tweeting about my progress on Twitter @magicbookreview using the hashtag #FrightFall.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

What's Next? FrightFall Read-a-thon Edition

Hi everyone! Welcome to the another week of What’s Next?! Click here to read more about the meme and be sure to link up your posts.

Next week is the FrightFall Read-a-thon and it's horror themed so I will be reading a scary book. This doesn't actually have to be a horror or supernatural book, it can also be a mystery or thiller. Here are the three choices I have narrowed it down to:

Choice #1 It by Stephen King
Welcome to Derry, Maine… It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real…. They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.


Choice #2 The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname--Buffalo Bill--is stalking women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the Bureau's Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter--Hannibal the Cannibal--who is kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

Dr. Lecter is a former psychiatrist with a grisly history, unusual tastes, and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs--and ingenious, masterfully written book and an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.

Choice #3 Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula is the ultimate horror story, producing one of literature’s most lasting villains: Count Dracula. A harrowing, memorable, and enduring story about the world’s most famous vampire. A true masterwork of storytelling, Dracula has transcended generation, language, and culture to become one of the most popular novels ever written. It is a quintessential tale of suspense and horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters ever born in literature: Count Dracula, a tragic, night-dwelling specter who feeds upon the blood of the living, and whose diabolical passions prey upon the innocent, the helpless, and the beautiful. But Dracula also stands as a bleak allegorical saga of an eternally cursed being whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of the supremely moralistic age in which it was originally written—and the corrupt desires that continue to plague the modern human condition.

A Quick Explanation On Why There Haven't Been Any Reviews This Month
I was doing the Sugar Free September Challenge this month. For the first week and a half I did awesome. Then I fell off the wagon and had some sweets. After that I started eating cookies, cake, and candy like crazy again and it's like my brain turned to mush. I have had the worst brain fog of my entire life! I haven't been able to focus long enough to read a book all month. I'm going to try and make up for it this last week.

So which scary book should I read for the FrightFall Read-a-thon? Leave your choice in the comments.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Suicide and Mental Illness Awareness Theme Read

For the months of September and October I am participating in the Suicide and Mental Illness Awareness Theme Read. This reading challenge is being hosted by Resistance is Futile.

Here is an extensive list at Goodreads of books about suicide.

Here is an extensive list at Goodreads of books about mental illness.

Because I have BPD I will focus on reading books about borderline personality disorder. Here is a list of BPD books at Goodreads.

Here is more about the :Suicide and Mental Illness Awareness Theme Read
The time has come to start thinking about what you're going to read (or watch) for my upcoming Suicide and Mental Illness Awareness Theme! This is going to be an informal event occurring during the months of September and October. Anyone who wants to participate can hop in at any point during these two months and post a link to a review of a book or movie/show/documentary that promotes suicide and mental illness awareness. 

As I said in my post To ASIST or not to assist, I believe that it is very important for people to be open and supportive about mental illness and suicidal ideation. Stigma pollutes our culture, discouraging people who need help from speaking out - it's the people who talk who end up healing. We need more healthy people in the world, and suicide and mental illness advocacy is one way to promote this goal. 

During my event, I will have posts which collect links to reviews from participants. I will host suicide / mental illness giveaways. And, hopefully, I can find some guest bloggers who wish to share their thoughts and experiences in mental illness advocacy. Please let me know if you have something you want to share!

There's no need to formally sign up for this event, but if you'd like, it would be nice to get a headcount in the comments to this I know how many giveaways I should plan. See you all soon!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Feature and Follow

Question of the Week: Are you also a writer and what genre or did you ever consider writing?

Yes I am also a writer. I write fiction, articles, and poetry but I have been focusing on blogging for the last few years. I want to get back to writing stories. It's pretty empty right now because I'm redoing my writing section but you'll find my writing here.

The featured blog this week is The YA Buzz.

The Rules of Feature & Follow Friday:
To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
My favorite way to follow is through Bloglovin and now Feature and Follow Friday has graphics to let your readers know. Feel free to follow any way that you want (I'll take all the follows I can get) but I do favor Bloglovin. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Labor Day Read-Along: My Book Review, Discussion Questions, and Movie Review

Please note this review does contain spoilers.

Book Description from
With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Henry—lonely, friendless, not too good at sports—spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming about the soft skin and budding bodies of his female classmates. For company Henry has his long-divorced mother, Adele—a onetime dancer whose summer project was to teach him how to foxtrot; his hamster, Joe; and awkward Saturday-night outings to Friendly's with his estranged father and new stepfamily. As much as he tries, Henry knows that even with his jokes and his "Husband for a Day" coupon, he still can't make his emotionally fragile mother happy. Adele has a secret that makes it hard for her to leave their house, and seems to possess an irreparably broken heart. 

 But all that changes on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a mysterious bleeding man named Frank approaches Henry and asks for a hand. Over the next five days, Henry will learn some of life's most valuable lessons: how to throw a baseball, the secret to perfect piecrust, the breathless pain of jealousy, the power of betrayal, and the importance of putting others—especially those we love—above ourselves. And the knowledge that real love is worth waiting for.

Book Review
Labor Day by Joyce Maynard is part love story, part coming of age novel. I was actually surprised this novel wasn't considered Young Adult. The book description on the back of the book gives no indication whatsoever that this book is narrated by the son, Henry.. I wasn't expecting this and was expecting more of an adult romance novel. It's not that there's anything wrong with this. It's just that I've been reading a lot of YA this year and was looking for something from an adult perspective. Had I read the story description from Amazon I would have expected this.

A quote from Jane Hamilton is on the cover calling the story "sexy." Yes it had the great potential to be a sexy story but considering it is the son describing his mother having relations with Frank, to call it "sexy" is just a bit twisted in my opinion. The romance between Frank and Adele is quite sexy and thrilling when you imagine just them. There's not much appeal in listening to a child describe his mother's love affair.

I loved the character of Frank. I always fall for the misunderstood bad boys with a heart of gold so I fell in love with Frank along with Adele. Frank was surprising in so many ways. If it wasn't for the fact that he was an escaped prisoner, I would have considered him to be too good to be true (in a good way) and the ideal husband. 

However, he seemed to be in complete denial about his situation, as was Adele. I also was surprised at how well and how quickly he adapted to life outside of prison. I don't think someone who just escaped the prison he was in for 18 years would be concerned with all the little chores he helped Adele do. I know they may come pick me up anytime and I'll never see you again but let's paint the storm windows. Seriously?

Adele was a deeply complex character and I loved that about her. She appeared to have mental illness but when her back story is explained you understand why she behaves the way that she does to a point. That said, if you have suffered from miscarriage or stillbirth this story will be extremely hard for you to read.

However, as complex as she was, I felt she was a selfish mother and no amount of trauma excuses her of that. Up until meeting Frank she treats her son almost like a surrogate husband and speaks to him about things that are extremely inappropriate. She put her love for Frank (a man she had known for only a handful of days) over the needs of her son and even disregards the custody she shares with her ex husband. 

The moment that Henry reveals to his friend Eleanor that Frank is at his house, you knew what Frank's fate was going to be. It was just a matter of time. What frustrated me is that Henry is more angry at Eleanor than he is himself for being stupid enough to tell her about Frank. 

Henry's character overall frustrated me. I understand he is a teenage boy but he is basically obsessed with sex. Hearing him ramble on for the fourth time about all the girls he's attracted to and would like to have sex with got annoying. 

He also couldn't make up his mind about how he felt about Frank and his mother. I understand that is completely normal but he seemed to change his mind whenever he talked to Eleanor. Eleanor is a know it all, cynical brat and I wanted so badly for Henry to tell her to shut up because she doesn't know what she's talking about.

What completely ruined the story for me was how at the end, Adele voluntarily gave up custody of Henry to her ex husband.  I think she made the right choice but the way Maynard treated this infuriated me. Maynard wrote as if this was no big deal or at least doesn't tell us how this is traumatic for Adele. I found it impossible to believe a woman that was devastated by miscarriage and a still birth would handle giving up her only child so well.

I did like the ending of the book though. I never had considered the possibility that Frank would try to get back with Adele after he was released from prison. I thought that was unbelievably romantic. 

I have one final observation but not really a complaint. None of the dialogue has apostrophes. I didn't know writers were even allowed to do that. 

Overall I found this book to be a page turner but contrived and completely unrealistic. Maynard is extremely talented at writing complex characters but the story was just too unbelievable to me. My rating  Photobucket 

Labor Day Discussion Questions
This post has already ran quite long so I will only post my answers to the questions. You can find the list here.

1. I didn't see Henry as being steady at all. Sure it's easy to appear steady when you follow a daily routine and remain isolated, but whenever Henry starts interacting with the outside world he doesn't seem to know what he wants or feels. Yes I felt Adele was a bad mother in some ways. I explain why earlier in this post.

2. I knew Frank was a good guy from the beginning. Why? Because this book is described as a love story. What I didn't expect was for him to be so sensitive and caring. The scenes when he is interacting with the challenge boy were particularly touching. I expected to like him but didn't expect to develop a crush on him myself.

3. We never know Adele's thoughts so I wonder if she was as trusting as she first appears. How could I be surprised though because if she hadn't there would be no story. I think Adele did it because he was hot and she craved adventure.

4. Because he loves his mother and would rather be with her than with his father where he feels like an outsider. He hides his mother's behavior to protect himself not her.

5. No it was not surprising that Frank was a good baker. The pie making technique was charming in itself but then it's later used in the story when Henry is an adult. I was more surprised how the pie making was what stuck with Henry.

6. Henry is at puberty. Frank is transitioning to freedom. But Adele wasn't transitioning to anything until Frank showed up. It's like she needed something to help her find happiness again. It's summer transitioning to fall. It's a cliche. 

7. I don't think Henry understands what family truly means until the end of the book. He realizes that all families are messed up just in different ways. There is no normal or regular family. And family doesn't always mean blood related.

8. Eleanor seemed cool at first but as my 18 yr old daughter would describe her, she was "thirsty" for sex. She appeared at first to be a misguided but cynical friend but was just using Henry in the end. I knew she would rat Frank out the second Henry told her about him. She had motivation to get the reward.

9. Eleanor was projected her own fears and experiences onto Henry. That was her experience so she expects it to be his too.

10. His conflicting feelings were completely normal. He seemed to finally reconcile them when he tests his mother and Frank by mentioning that he will get left behind and they confirm that isn't the case at all. He realizes they were just empty fears.

11. The only thing that would have definitely been different is the pie making story would not have ended up in the magazine. His mother may have kept custody of him but I doubt it. She seemed like if she hadn't had met Frank she would've had some kind of mental breakdown. 

12. There's really know way of knowing because we never read anything from Adele's point of view. But Adele knew she had some mental issues that she needed to deal with and taking care of Henry at the same time was not in his best interests. Or maybe she blamed Henry for Frank getting caught. It's hard to say. Henry returns because he loved her and understood she was mentally ill.

13. What kind of person is Eleanor? She was never developed enough to say one way or the other especially when Henry meets her again. I think the dog was named Jim because she liked Jim Morrison.

14. I think Henry's father was completely wrong in his observation that Adele was "in love with love." Women who are "in love with love" are constantly chasing after relationships. Adele was not like this as all. Although I do think she was in complete denial of how her and Frank would end up but I think her love was real and sincere especially because she was never with anyone afterwards. It's like she waited for him to get out of prison.

15. I have experiences that were life altering in bad ways but I am still grateful I met the person involved. Adele seemed to be the only women who ever truly loved Frank and Frank's baby died so Henry was his chance to be a father figure. There are things Frank may have never had otherwise. Yes love like that (at first sight) can exist. I fell in love immediately with my husband and we were inseparable from the time we met.

Movie Review
The movie was different from the book in onlya few minor ways and one major one. The major one being that there was no chemistry at all between Frank and Adele. It was impossible for me to believe that Adele had fallen in love with him and wanted to run away with him. However, I found it easy to believe Josh Brolin. I thought he did a great job in this movie.

I blame Kate Winslet's bad acting. I've always felt the woman's facial expressions never change. When she speaks emotionally her face never seem to match what she is saying unless she is smiling. I do think she has an amazing smile but the character of Adele rarely smiles.

A few minor differences from the book is that Henry doesn't tell Eleanor about Frank (she guesses). There's a horrible scene where the kid in the wheelchair gets smacked across the face by his mother. It's also never revealed who tipped off the police. I almost liked this part better than book because no one is to blame in the movie version. In the book, it was clearly Henry's fault because he couldn't keep a secret.

The flashback secnes and montages of Henry's fantasies would be confusing for someone who hadn't read the book. Lastly, the music. I don't know who chose the music for this movie but it was grating. The movie only gets Photobucket