I should let you know ahead of time that I am not a Twilighter. Yes, I read those books. Yes, I, too, think the guy in the movie is extraordinarily pr...moreI should let you know ahead of time that I am not a Twilighter. Yes, I read those books. Yes, I, too, think the guy in the movie is extraordinarily pretty. However, not since Bram Stoker and the immortal and unbelievably talented Bela Lugosi, have I truly cared about a dark count’s existence. This book, though, I have to say, I enjoyed. Not only is this a good read for 14 year olds but I believe that mothers will truly enjoy the wit as well.
We begin our story with Quincie Morris. Quincie is a young girl who has a forty-year-old trapped inside her body. She is more than responsible; the child could probably run an entire country without the help of any adult. Her parents passed away and she has lived with her irresponsible uncle ever since. She’s been okay. She toils at school and works all hours to keep her parents’ restaurant afloat. The only semi-strange thing in her life? You guessed it! Her hybrid-werewolf best friend is leaving her to join a pack. (Visions of Twilight dancing in your head).
Quincie and her uncle try to save the floundering family business by turning it into Austin’s first (wait for it) vampire-themed restaurant. Dark cornices flickering in the shadowy alcoves – wait staff with black eyeliner and fangs – etc. Now, you must have a chef who will fit in with your theme in order to save the family business. Well…don’t you? Location isn’t everything, after all. The restaurant does have to serve excellent cuisine if they wish to continue running. Enter Henry Johnson. Henry is a fresh-faced, twenty-something who wants nothing more than to join Quincie’s team. Quincie struggles to turn the regular Henry into the Dark Lord that will preside over the kitchen and entertain the diners. But, yes, this fresh-faced chef has his own hidden agenda and soon life will imitate art.
This book is fun. It doesn’t take itself seriously. There’s no whining and deep Romeo and Juliet love – just an old story with a fresh face. Have fun with it!
First, I was thunderstruck by Wonderstruck. Now, I want to commend and herald, Hugo Cabret.
Three days ago, I ‘fell’ across Wonderstruck, the new amazi...more
First, I was thunderstruck by Wonderstruck. Now, I want to commend and herald, Hugo Cabret.
Three days ago, I ‘fell’ across Wonderstruck, the new amazing piece of fiction from Brian Selznick. Then, just HAVING to know it all, I ran back to the bookstore and purchased his first visual creation titled, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was made into a movie. Of course, at that time, I did not realize what this man - this author/artist - could do.
Hugo Cabret is a young boy who has seen a great deal of difficulty. He had a truly loving father who worked at a museum, and used to take Hugo there to explore. His father had found an ‘automaton’ - a mechanical man sitting at a desk with a pen in his hand. These automatons were wind-up figures with hundreds of little moving parts that magicians used to use in their acts a long time ago; many magicians actually started out as clockmakers, so they understood the millions of movable parts inside an automaton, and they made sure the ones they created would thrill and excite the crowds.
When this particular automaton worked, the ‘robot man’ would write down something amazing with his pen. Hugo’s father found this and worked for a good, long time trying to fix it in order to discover what this particular creation would write. One night, there was a fire, and Hugo’s father was trapped inside. Everything, in the blink of an eye, was gone. EXCEPT the automaton and a notebook of pictures and directions that Hugo’s father had left behind. Hugo found the mechanical man in a pile of junk and took it, attempting to make the creation work for his father and himself. He dreamed about what the man would finally write on his paper - perhaps it would be a message from his own father who he missed so much.
Hugo was carted away by his uncle, a man whose job it was to be the timekeeper at the train station, keeping the clocks running. Soon the uncle disappeared and never returned, leaving the hard job to Hugo. Hugo lived inside the walls of the train station, trying to stay away from the Station Inspector so he wouldn’t be caught and taken to the orphanage. To survive, Hugo did steal little things like milk and croissants that people left out at the train station café, and he took things from a little old man who had a booth outside of the train station. This little old man would come to work every day and Hugo watched him from inside the walls, through the clocks that faced the sidewalk. He would go to the man’s booth because there were small wind-up toys that the man created, and Hugo needed the moving parts in order to fix the automaton.
From here, the book escalates into one of the most beautiful stories ever told. The man in the booth is NOT who Hugo perceives him to be, and the relationship that they build with one another is a mystery and a beautiful journey of one amazing imagination leading another. Again, like the first book I read, I was taken on a path of dreams, with characters that never gave up on the fact that a ‘magic trick’ can be so much more.
This is truly a book that you begin in the darkness, just before the screen lights up in a movie theatre to draw you into a story of action, suspense, love, family, friendship, and kindness - spurring your imagination and making ALL watchers and readers want to be writers. If all writers could give even 5% of the beauty and love that Mr. Selznick gave in his two stunning novels, than the world would be populated with dreamers and believers - a fantastic group of people! (less)
Fans will cheer! Alex McKnight is back and better than ever.
Anti-social is really the best phrase to sum up what Alex McKnight is feeling lately. Keep...moreFans will cheer! Alex McKnight is back and better than ever.
Anti-social is really the best phrase to sum up what Alex McKnight is feeling lately. Keeping to himself, the only thing he seems to do is go out for meals at the Glasgow Inn. On the evening of his 49th birthday Alex begins recounting to Jackie, the Inn’s owner, the list of failures he’s had in his life. With a failed marriage and an up-and-coming baseball career that fizzled out, he even goes on to tell Jackie about his job as a policeman in Detroit that turned sour.
Jackie, growing tired of listening to Alex whine about life, gives him an ultimatum that he either leave immediately or join him in a poker game. Alex agrees, reluctantly, and they drive to a very fancy home near the water to meet up with the other poker players.
The owner of the home, Winston Vargas, is a businessman who thinks that the Upper Peninsula will soon be a boom town and bring in a lot of high rollers. Vargas loves to talk about himself and brag about his accomplishments, and the other players soon tire of hearing it. But they’re not bored for long.
Masked robbers suddenly invade the home, hold the players at gunpoint and rob Vargas. Alex, being the only poker player who knows anything about investigative work settles his police hat back on his head and works with his former partner, Leon Prudell, to discover that the robbery is far more than meets the eye.
Covering murder, greed, revenge and so much more, the author has once again given his readers a journey of suspense that they’ll remember. With Alex coming out of his shell and working on the case, he realizes that he cannot back away from his life - he can only move forward; which is exactly what Hamilton has done with this series. With another great ending, the author has brought Alex McKnight back to life, and readers will be counting the days until the next book appears. (Written for Suspense Pub.) (less)
It’s no surprise to anyone, if ever reading my reviews, that I am an extreme fan of the incomparable Jane Austen. I have always believed this woman wa...moreIt’s no surprise to anyone, if ever reading my reviews, that I am an extreme fan of the incomparable Jane Austen. I have always believed this woman was the "end-all and be-all" of fictional works, so I really desire any author who embarks on this subject to do this lovely woman justice. I am happy to report that this author has done just that.
In this realistic and emotionally moving portrayal of Jane Austen’s early life, the author takes us through the circumstances that molded this young girl into the prolific author that she would become. This story sees Jane venturing out from her own small corner of the world. Following her life’s journey, growing up in a clergyman’s house with her many siblings, she embarks on many moves – good and bad – that make the reader see where and when Jane’s enduring characters were first born. We see Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett formed from Jane’s vivid circle of friends and acquaintances. We understand Marianne and Eleanor – the charming Dashwood sisters from Sense and Sensibility – and we can truly see their creation through Jane Austen’s eyes.
We learn that Jane’s family supported her choice to write with a devotion that is unparalleled and unseen in most family units. Jane certainly has romantic tendencies and harbors, like all authors, the longing to be a true heroine who finds her hero among the masses. However, in her circles, ‘grandness’ seemed to impress far more than ‘thinking,’ and Jane finds herself focusing on her work and her desire to create. There are wonderful lines in this novel such as when Jane remarks that, ‘a person content to be bland will never be anyone’s choice as a companion for an idle afternoon.’ This is what Jane most likely believed, for she was anything but bland. The author also offers up dialogue where Jane states that, "Life goes on with or without a published work by Jane Austen." True. But I am certainly among the many who believe that life is much better ‘with.’
Read This. Enjoy it. I’ve had the supreme pleasure of reading more than one novel recently about this talented woman; this author certainly shows that it’s a ‘universally acknowledged truth’ that Austen was a lady to be remembered (less)
This is one of those near perfect mysteries that are so appreciated by the reader. A reprint, this amazing novel featuring Lord Peter Wimsey was first...moreThis is one of those near perfect mysteries that are so appreciated by the reader. A reprint, this amazing novel featuring Lord Peter Wimsey was first published in 1928, yet is even more beguiling and fun in 2014 then it was back then.
Written between World War I & II, this mystery begins with the death of a very wealthy woman who leaves a fortune behind. Her brother, if he is still alive, will be her heir; if not, the money will transfer to the hands of a young female who was a companion to the woman at the time of her death. Sadly, the brother, General Fentiman, is found dead in a chair at the Bellona Club in the middle of Armistice Day reunions.
Lord Wimsey is asked to look into the death immediately, seeing as that the actual time of departure for the General is a little up in the air. Apparently, he was thought to be asleep at the Club in his comfortable chair with newspaper in hand.
But as things progress, not only is there a ‘who’ to be found, but the ‘when’ of the actual crime becomes suspect. The heirs of the deceased find everything to be rather odd. Wimsey notes the strangeness of the crime; not only was there a missing note of rigor mortis, but seeing as that the dead man was a prideful Officer in the Army, it was even more odd that he was not wearing the requisite military accoutrement of the Armistice Day Poppy.
Wimsey reminds one and all of the glorious Agatha Christie detectives who dealt with a wealth of aristocratic suspects, making sure to point their finger at all involved in order to heighten the suspense that came along with unmasking the true perpetrator.
The crime is enticing, the characters are extraordinarily humorous, and it simply goes to show that Sayers, the ‘Mistress of the Golden Age Mystery’, is truly missed.