Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King

Hello, Dear Bloggites. 🙂  I am bringing you another book review from my favorite author, Stephen King, who partnered with his son, Owen King, to write the book called Sleeping Beauties.

I have read almost ALL of Stephen King’s books and have the rest on order to read but I have never read one of his son’s books.  I was looking forward to seeing how their writing styles complimented or contradicted each other, as well as, how well they meshed together in the book.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen KingSleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King is about a small town that is struck by the latest disease hitting the world called the Aurora Flu aka The Sleeping Sickness which causes women of all ages to grow a cobweb type of cocoon around their bodies once they fall asleep.  If you were to wake up these women in the cocoon, they became feral animals attacking and killing whatever or whomever woke them from their sleep.  There was one female, Eve, who seemed to not be affected by the disease which cause a big fight among the townspeople.  Some wanted to take her to kill or study her and some fought to keep her alive until it wore off in a few days as Eve promised them.

I did not know what to expect out of this book when I first bought it.  I know Stephen King’s voice in all his written works, but I did not know Owen King’s voice, so I was a bit concerned about how well the book would flow.  The story flowed well, you could tell the different voices at the beginning of the writing but as the story continued, the two author voices became in unison thus making the storyline easier to read without any tone changes.

The characters were developed, and several had their own unique personalities and quirks and throughout the book you did get the background stories of each of the key players.  While I enjoyed the book, I did not find myself invested in any one character.  I do not know if it was due to the many players in the book or if it was due to the actual story line.  Either way, I was not consumed with wanting to know the next move as I normally am while reading a Stephen King book.  Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it was anticlimactic for me in the end.

I give Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King 3 out of 5 Bookmarks.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: It Tickled The Whiskers Of My Soul by Rebecca Rose

“It took me a long time to learn that not all pain is pointless.” ~Rebecca Rose (in It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul)

It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul by Rebecca RoseHello, Dear Bloggites!  I know, I was supposed to make a post yesterday, but I intentionally delayed it for today because I am bringing you a special book review.  The author, Rebecca Rose, emailed me offering her latest book for free if I was willing to give an honest review of it after I was finished.  Of course, I do my best to never turn down a request for a review, but this one was extra special because I “met” Rebecca via email when she published her first book, I’ll Be Fine, and requested a review.

I loved that story so much, that I talk about it to this day!  So, of course, I jumped at the opportunity to read her newest release, It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul.  This is the author’s third book but second published under her name.  This book is a story of what the author has learned over time about life, belief, and self.  The book is formatted into a separate “love letter” for each topic.

This book was written in a loving, intimate style that made you feel as if you were sitting with the author while she explained what she has learned from life.  The pictures are a joy and will bring a smile to your face even if you think you are the grumpiest person alive.  Each letter has a theme in it and the author goes into detail about what journey she took to realized that specific theme i.e. true self, fear, laws of attraction, intention, etc.

I loved that even though this book is on spirituality, it is not preachy or skewed to one view or another, so it is written for all to read.  I enjoyed reading how the author found her way through situations and time.  So many people do not view “bad” or “hard” times as a learning experience and I think this book would help people realize that even though the situation may be less than optimal, it is always better in the end.

I give It Tickled The Whiskers Of My Soul by Rebecca Rose 5 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Great read for people looking for ways to deal with life. 🙂

P.S.  THANK YOU, Rebecca, for the Honor of reviewing your book! 🙂

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux

Hello, Dear Bloggites! 🙂  This book review is on The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.  Now, I did not read this one, but I did listen to it.  This story is my absolute favorite love story in the world – even bigger than Prince Charles and Lady Diana! 🙂

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LerouxMost of you are probably familiar with The Phantom of the Opera story, but for those who are not, it is about an up-and-coming opera singer, Christine Daae, who believes she is receiving lessons from “The Angel of Music” for Opera Populaire.  The Opera house where Christine works is reported to be haunted by the Opera Ghost.  While Christine is learning from the Angel of Music, she rekindles a friendship with Raoul de Chagny and that friendship turns to a passionate love affair.  While Christine is building her relationship with Raoul, Eric (Angel of Music nee Opera Ghost) becomes enraged with jealousy and vows to have Christine as his own even if it means killing Raoul.

Exciting, right!  The author, Gaston Leroux, was a well-known French journalist and detective story writer when he was alive.  The Phantom of the Opera is his best-known work of literature; however, he does have other novels he wrote before passing away.  I have not read any of his other works, but I do plan on remedying this fact after listening to the original novel.

Gaston Leroux wrote an amazing novel with complex characters and a mystery to solve to boot.  The story swept you away to another time and place where you root for the love between Christine and Raoul while hurting for Eric at the same time.  The author broke down his novel to feature specific characters and what they were thinking or doing throughout the book, but you never found yourself confused or lost within the story line of what was going on.

There really is nothing to critique this novel on other than the repetitive nature when a character addresses a person – the names were repeated each time a statement was made instead of letting the reader follow the dialogue without the repetitive names.  I am sure the author wrote as the people spoke in that age, but it did become annoying at times.

I give The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux 5 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Go pick up your own copy and read or listen to the original story.

4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee Kay

“As the law of nature holds, the more you take away from others, the greater you pay the remunerations.” ~Rudra (in Roy & Dee Kay’s novelette The Two-Faced Truth)

Hello, Dear Bloggites.  I am bringing you a special book review.  As you all know, I am all about supporting new and up-and-coming authors working the craft.  This book review is on The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee Kay.

The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee KayThe authors offered a free copy of this novelette for honest reviews to get the word out to the world about their amazing book. 🙂  As you all know, I love a good mystery book and I am here to tell you I just finished a fast-paced, jam pack story in The Two-Faced Truth!

The authors, Roy & Dee Kay, wrote a story that quickly captured my interest and pulled me in from the first surprise to the last!  Yes, you read it, multiple surprises were provided to me in this book.

The story is about two friends, Neel & Rudra, bound by ties so deep that everything became lost in the mix.  The friendship was forged and destroyed by these deep ties.  Love, Loss, and Destruction were palpable in this novelette.  The book was written from each character’s point of view.  One chapter was on Neel and what he was experiencing and seeing and the next would be on Rudra and what he was experiencing and seeing during the same time-frame.

The authors did a good job on creating complex characters in this book and the only thing that I would say I found distracting were the few typos in the novel.  Being a first book, typos are standard, and this book was no different.  Overall, I would highly recommend any reader wanting a fast escape from reality to pick up this book.  It is an easy and fast read.

I give The Two-Faced Truth by Roy & Dee Kay 4 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Thank you, Roy & Dee Kay for a wonderful reading experience.  I look forward to reading your next books.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Cane River by Lalita Tademy

“Sometimes, while you wait for what you think is better, what is good enough slips away.” ~Philomene (in Lalita Tademy’s novel Cane River)

Woo Hooo!!! I am impressed I have been blogging consistently for a week or so, Dear Bloggites!  Go ME!  Okay, enough self-celebrating.  Today’s blog is over March’s Books & Broads Book Club book choice.  This month (YES, you read that right, I am caught up!), the book club chose to read Cane River by Lalita Tademy.

Cane River by Lalita TademyThe premise of this historic novel is about five different generations of a slave family, specifically, the women-folk, and how they were treated by their plantation owners and white people in general just because of their skin color.  This book was INTENSE!  The time-frame is from the 1830s to the 1930s.  The backdrop was in Louisiana on a medium-sized Creole plantation owned by a family named Derbanne.  The four main women in the book were Elisabeth, Suzette, Philomene, and Emily.

The author, Lalita Tademy, created this work of fiction based on stories she heard about her great, great, great, great grandmother, who happened to be the girl in the fifth generation in the book.  While the time and experiences shared in the book were based on historical facts, the story line itself was a work of fiction created from the author’s own mind on how life might have been like for her great, great, great, great grandmother.

I normally do not like reading books like this, however, I found myself enjoying the dynamics of each complex character and how the women found a way to overcome what life threw at them no matter how the dice rolled against them.  I found this a very emotional read and enjoyed the book until the end.  The end pissed me off so much that I threw the book across the room.  It ended with one of the female characters “Rosa Park”-ing the bus.  No flack against Rosa Park and no jab meant to that movement, I just felt that it was wrong to end the book in that manner.

I give Cane River by Lalita Tademy 3 out of 5 Bookmarks.  I only recommend this book to avid readers that love the history of the Civil War time.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

“No matter how much we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.” ~May Crandall (in Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Ya’ll!  I am writing this book review on February’s book chosen by The Books & Broads Book Club: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.  I was hesitant about this book based on the story line.  It sounded very depressing and I do not like depressing…LOL

Before We Were Yours by Lisa WingateThe story line is about five siblings who were kidnapped from their river home while their Mom and Dad were at the hospital for their Mom to give birth to their twin siblings.  The story follows Rill Foss and her determination to protect her sisters and brother when they are taken to Georgia Tann’s Memphis, Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage.  The story toggles from 1939 to Present day while the different stories are played out throughout the book.  Present day finds an up-and-coming politico, Avery Stafford, who moves back to Aiken, South Carolina to help care for her father who is fighting Cancer and to get her name out there to take his place in the Senate if he passes from the Cancer.  During her time in Aikin, Avery, meets an older lady named May Crandall who sets her in motion to find the long-hidden secret of her family’s history to find out how May Crandall is associate with her grandmother, Judy Safford.

Onto the review, Dear Bloggites.  This story is an emotionally draining story in my opinion.  It is written in first person (which I hate) and toggles between 1939 Tennessee and present-day South Carolina.  Even though I do not like first person, it worked well in this book because of the different players you are following throughout.  Lisa Wingate created well developed characters in this book and even though the topic was deep and depressing, you did find moments of humor and lightness to help comfort the reader and give them a break from the heaviness of the subject.

The story became very predictable as I read the book and by the middle, I had already figured out who each person was and how it was going to end.  This was sad for me because, while I am reading a depressing topic, I was hoping the author would put a twist in there so the reader was surprised by the ending instead of underwhelmed and left with a feeling of, “Meh, okay.”  The book is a work of fiction but is based on real life events that happened in Memphis, Tennessee with Georgia Tann and her kidnapping of children from poor homes to place them (at an expensive cost) in the homes of financially well, established members of society.

I give Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  If you don’t mind depressing topics, go out and give this book a whirl.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: News Of The World by Paulette Jiles

“This is writing.  This is printing.  This tells us of all the things we ought to know in the world.  And also that we ought to want to know.” ~Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (in Paulette Jiles’ novel News of the World)

Hi Ho, Dear Bloggites.  This book review is on January’s Books & Broads Book Club choice.  In January, the book club read News of the World by Paulette Jiles.  The setting and premise of the book was interesting.  The book was set in 1870 North Texas.  Of course, I was immediately intrigued because that is the part of Texas where I live.

News of the World by Paulette JilesThe book was about Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly man who travels through Northern Texas and stops in towns reading the latest news from papers he picks up along the way.  In Wichita Falls, Captain Kidd is approached to take a young orphan, Johanna, who had been kidnapped four years earlier by Kiowa raiders after killing her parents, back to her relatives in San Antonio.  The journey was a 400-mile trek through rough terrain, but Captain Kidd agreed to return Johanna to her family.

Pretty good premise, yes?  Sadly, I did not like this book.  Many, many times I found myself wondering what the purpose was of the author, Paulette Jiles, when she decided to write this story.  Not only was it boring, but there seemed to be no core purpose in the storyline aside from traveling 400-miles.  I know fiction does not have to have a purpose, but it does have to make sense and this book did not make sense to me with how it was formatted.

When it seemed like some action was going to happen, I was disappointed to see nothing happen, and the minimal moments when there was action it was underwhelming.  The characters were not as developed as I like and there were moments of humor and moments of emotion, but not enough to keep me engaged as much as I could have been.

There was great imagery and some clever sentences in the book, but it did not help this book capture my attention like so many other books have.  Throughout the book you followed Captain Kidd and Johanna as they travel on the road and he tries to reteach her the English language while learning what certain Kiowa words meant.  I know the author really tried to engage the audience, it was almost palpable during many scenes, but she just could not take it the rest of the way through.  Kudos to the author for writing a passion project, because that is the only thing that makes sense to me after reading this book.

I give News Of The World by Paulette Jiles 2 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Happy Reading!

~4-Ever, P