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Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: The Art of Escaping

The Art of Escaping The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mattie is the type of girl that doesn't fit into the normal box--she loves jazz records, relics of the past, and admires people like Harry Houdini and other escape artists. Her summer is set to be boring with her best friend Stella away and having nothing to look forward to other than her part time job. When she realizes that she wants to learn the art of escapology, she goes to the closest source--the daughter of a popular local escapologist. It's not easy, but once she convinces her that she's willing to learn it all, Mattie is in for a wild summer.

This is a classic YA novel with a main character that's a bit rough around the edges, particularly when she interacts with her peers, but that roughness is also liberating to readers because you know that Mattie is comfortable with who she is, for the most part. I like how the book doesn't leave Mattie to tell the whole story, bringing in her new friends Will and her mentor's mother to fill in the gaps. A great story that's fun and full of twists.

*Book provided by Bookish First


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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Review: Loopholes: Microfiction

Loopholes: Microfiction Loopholes: Microfiction by Susan McCreery
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Loopholes is a collection of microfiction by Susan McCreery. There are dozens of pieces in this collection, most contained on a single page with many not spanning more than a long paragraph. Each piece is unique and runs the gamut when it comes to topic and character.

In general flash and micro fiction should do just what a standard short story does--engages the reader, gets them to feel something for the main character, and provides a twist or shock at the end. With this collection, I didn't feel like many of the pieces had all three parts to have a complete story in the short amount of space that each was given. Many of the stories seemed like they weren't even a fully introduction to a much longer story, but only a snippet, leaving the reader curious as to where the story was going. Only one or two of the stories in this collection left me feeling that the story was complete and not a precursor to something more.

*Book provided by NetGalley


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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review: Rise of the Superheroes: Greatest Silver Age Comic Books and Characters

Rise of the Superheroes: Greatest Silver Age Comic Books and Characters Rise of the Superheroes: Greatest Silver Age Comic Books and Characters by David Tosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun book for both collectors and newbies to the Silver Age of comic books. If you're like me and are just starting to appreciate comic books as an adult, this is an excellent primer on what you can find when it comes to Silver Age comics including different publishers, characters, storylines and more. This book covers a snapshot of many 1960s comics, and it also includes information on TV and movies franchises, a timeline of the major events happening at the time, and the author's own recollections of collecting as a child.


*Book provided by Bookish First

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Review: Rise of the Superheroes: Greatest Silver Age Comic Books and Characters

Rise of the Superheroes: Greatest Silver Age Comic Books and Characters Rise of the Superheroes: Greatest Silver Age Comic Books and Characters by David Tosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun book for both collectors and newbies to the Silver Age of comic books. If you're like me and are just starting to appreciate comic books as an adult, this is an excellent primer on what you can find when it comes to Silver Age comics including different publishers, characters, storylines and more. This book covers a snapshot of many 1960s comics, and it also includes information on TV and movies franchises, a timeline of the major events happening at the time, and the author's own recollections of collecting as a child.


*Book provided by Bookish First

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Review: Delicate Men: Stories

Delicate Men: Stories Delicate Men: Stories by R. Dean Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Short story collections are never easy to sum up in a review because they have varying degrees of interest for each reader, and this one is no different. Delicate Men follows stories of men who are trying to do what they think they are supposed to do because of who they are, where they are or simply because they are men. Almost none of these men live up the standards they feel are imposed upon them.

What was interesting to me about this collection isn't that the stories all follow a similar theme, but that the main characters seem so much alike that it almost seemed like you were reading about the same guy screwing up his own life over and over again. There was little distinction between the main characters, so it wasn't as varied in terms of character growth as it could have been.

*Book provided by NetGalley


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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Review: The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stella likes her life just fine, but the pressures of getting married and having babies have her worried. Stella is autistic, so she doesn't see romance the same way as others do. In fact, she feels like she's so bad at it that she decides to hire a professional to teach her a thing or two about sex. What unfolds is a fun, sweet and sexy romance that'll have you turning the pages as quick as you can.

I like that this story takes on a different aspect with Stella's autism. She's on the spectrum, but aside from her issues with the idea of sex and love, she's a fully functioning adult with a good job that she loves. And when Michael comes into her life, she's surprised that she has feelings for him, but is still inhibited by what she thinks she should say and do.

Overall, this is a fun story to read and anyone that likes a little romance and a lot of heart will enjoy this book.

*Book provided by BookishFirst

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Review: Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer's Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business

Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer's Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer's Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business by Kenneth Atchity
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sell Your Story to Hollywood is a quick guide to getting your story into the hands of those who make things happen in Hollywood. The author Kenneth Atchity speaks from experience with decades working in Hollywood to get stories from the page to the screen.

Although every guide about breaking into Hollywood should be viewed through the lens of how small the odds really are, this book starts out a bit discouraging for those who are truly interested in learning what they can do to move from a novel to a produced screenplay. The first step in getting this done, according to this book? Have an international bestseller. Okay. Not everyone can do that. Step 2: get reviewed by the NYT or other prestigious publication. Um... if a writer had that, they probably wouldn't need this book.

While some of these initial steps are not quite what you would consider actionable advice for getting your screenplay produced, the book does move toward more actionable steps that you can take, though the guide does assume that you have a great story to tell with either an impeccably written novel or screenplay.

As a writer with scripts but no connections to the industry, the parts of this book that I found most helpful were actual Appendix B and Appendix C. Writers at any stage can probably find something useful to take away from this guide to use in pursuing their own Hollywood career.

*Book provided by NetGalley

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