Tag Archives: book review

13 Reasons Why, book and movie review

A friend of mine mentioned this show, so when I subscribed to Netflix for a month, I decided to check it out. The first episode wasn’t all that great to me, and the girl who had killed herself came off as a sociopath who was having too much fun with this game of telling people how they contributed to her killing herself.

Despite that, I watched a few more episodes, and I can say, that after episode one, the show really opened up and became relatable. The characters were all experiencing things that most of us probably saw or went through ourselves in high school. I now understood the appeal of the show. I also saw the romanticizing of the death that critics had gotten so worked up about. However, those critics must not have stuck around for the entire 13 episodes, because yes, the first nine episodes are relatable things that we could all experience and imagine doing, but the last four episodes, oh my goodness.

The show gets super dark. People are dying, getting raped, fights, more suicides, I mean, the amount of drama that will just break your heart in this show will put any soap opera to shame.

As I watched the show, I also read the book. This was one of those rare times where it was faster to read the book than watch the show. Each chapter, which was an episode, could easily be read in fifteen minutes.

In the books, Clay listens to the tapes in one night. Start to end, with him adding his own internal dialogue mixed in with the tapes. It makes for an interesting narration of the novel and it worked well.

The show had Clay take a week or more to get through the tapes, and his day to day life filled up most of the time. The secondary characters all got full back stories, to include the addition of several homosexual characters which are not in the book.

The ending of the novel is also not as dark as the tv show. I was bawling during those last four episodes, but didn’t bat an eye when I read the book. So, to me, the translation from book to show was done wonderfully.

Hannah’s words were verbatim from the novel, from what I could tell, which was a nice touch.

Overall, I would recommend this book and show for anyone who enjoys a good drama. The book is well written and the style unique. The acting and additional plot lines in the tv show, well above what I usually see in movie theaters.

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Marley and Me, book and movie review

I listened to the audio version of this novel, which was read well. I’d watched the movie years ago, and rewatched it after I finished the audio book so I could adequately compare the two. The novel is translated well to the screen and I agree with most of the adjustments they did. The error I found was that in the book he isn’t writing articles about his dog for the newspapers. In the novel these are shown in a scrapbook and its hinted that they are turned into a full novel later. Instead, the novel portrays it as the author upkeeps a journal and majority of the novel stems from that. The ending in the novel also ties things up nicer, spending a good two chapters on mourning the loss of the dog, and showing how the author puts an article out about the death of his dog and gets a massive response from readers. This is then followed up by the family going to adopt a new dog that is likely to be as troublesome as the one they recently lost.

Overall I would say any lover of animals will find something relatable in this novel. You don’t have to be a dog person to enjoy it, although you probably will enjoy a bit more, especially if your pet is similar to the one being portrayed. Now my complaint is, a lot of the novel focused on poop. If there was ever a book written about fecal matter, this is it. It doesn’t get dull, the author is rather impressive in the many avenues used to display poop in the story, but it plays a very strong role in the plot. I was not a fan of that and came to dread hearing the next installment, unsure if I’d be able to stomach my next meal after listening. Other bodily functions-fur, vomit, slobber, and so on and also explained in graphic detail. So if you are squeamish–do not read this book. I mean, in a way this is a compliment, the author was able to describe these events so well, that I felt I was there, and by such, horrified and reviled. The novel nicely removes these aspects, so if you want to experience this tale without the disgusting parts, go watch the movie, don’t read the book.


Wicked Appetite, book review

I’ve read a few of the Stephanie Plum novels. So I was expecting the quirkiness of those books to travel over into this one. However this one does go a bit farther into the strange random comedy style because it creates its own “how the world works” rules. When a novel starts introducing magic and people with special gifts—just about anything can happen and be accepted by the reader.

The author takes full advantage of this and doesn’t hold back. The most ridiculous things happen and then, of course, its countered by some sense. Leaving the author reeling from confusion and whiplash. Don’t get me wrong, the story is highly entertaining, and I might read more of the series. But don’t expect this story to be anything like other novels you’ve read. And be prepared to be very accepting of the world you are presented with.

“Wicked Appetite” by Janet Evanovich


Seriously… I’m Kidding, book review

When I was looking for audio books this was listed as one of the best to get. Although I agree it is good and kept me highly entertained, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Ellen speaks to you, as if she is right there in the room with you. I was amazed at this talent because even though Ellen doesn’t know me at all, by the end of the book, it felt as if we were great friends.

So although this wasn’t the autobiography type book I normally expect from famous people, this was a great listen. It actually made me want to go get the written book, because there were parts she skipped over because it was exclusive to the written version. Same went for this one, there were parts only valid for the audio book.

Overall, I recommend this audio book. It’ll keep you entertained and laughing. The next time I go on a road trip, I’m going to get her other books.

“Seriously… I’m Kidding” by Ellen DeGeneres


The Taking, book review

Dean Koontz,  “The Taking”

I listened to the audio book of this novel. The story started off great, setting the stage for an alien invasion. It had the classic feel of being an end of the world horror story. There were so many different theories thrown out as to what was actually going on, that it did give the impression the author was trying too hard to throw you off the trail of what was really happening. A bit too much stress was put on the mystery of it all.

Then our character was given a quest, a mission if you will. To find all the missing children. So at least the focus was taken off the “why is this happening” bit and the story went in a different direction. At this point, things became too far stretched, and really just a jumble of weird events. The middle of the novel really went off the deep end into this mystical world of nonsense. People were doing things that made no sense, there were supernatural creatures, and in all this, the goal was simply, “save the children!”

I kept going, despite the weirdness, and the end of the novel did work very hard to tie up all the loose ends and provide an explanation for everything.

The entire book is written very well. You will feel like you are there with the characters on every step of this strange and horrific journey. Koontz has a very talented gift at painting pictures perfectly for you to see in your mind.


Picture Perfect, book review

I listened to the audio tape of this novel. And boy do I wish there was a way to skip ahead and skim an audio book. As it is, I hung in there and listened to the entire 9+ hours. I’ve read other novels by Jodi Picoult and I loved them! Sadly, this is not her best work. When I picked it up, I hadn’t realized how early in her career she had written this novel.

The book starts off promising enough with the main character having amnesia. But then it goes into clique after clique. Meek geeky woman falls for gruff dominating rich man, who has a temper and abuses her. She blames herself, meeting the stereotype yet again, and stays with him for three years. It’s not hard to predict where the story is going, but there are moments were you get bored and wonder, why are we covering this?

This is a story many women in abusive relationships might experience, but that’s the thing, there’s no originality to it. It’s the same story we’ve heard before or read in newspapers. She doesn’t leave him until a baby comes into the mix and even then, we aren’t shown what she does with her life next, which is the part where the author might have come up with something original.

There is an Indian heritage thing mixed in, but really it is just a distractor side story. It wasn’t needed at all. It could have been removed entirely, along with the character Will, and the story would have unfolded just the same.

The childhood stories of the main characters, although entertaining, once again serve no real purpose. The stories are more there for a shock and awe factor, showing you horribly gruesome events that the characters lived through.

All in all, I would suggest skipping this book. Jodi Picoult has written much better novels that you should read instead.


Scales *book tour* and review

scales banner

Scales is your typical heroine origins story. And like all good origin stories, the main character is an orphan girl, coming of age and wanting to avoid the life fate has in store for her. Instead of her becoming a vampire, like most of these stories seem to go, she is a shape shifting gargoyle. A bit of originality—I can’t say I’ve read any other books about that. However, the book does follow the normal recipe a reader of young adult fiction has come to expect.

I will give the author credit, she is writing about what she knows. The author traveled and studied abroad, so low and behold, so is her character. This means the books is trustworthy in its facts. Nothing worse than an author writing about a country they have never visited.

The book didn’t emotionally pull me in, but the plot twists, upcoming reveals and secrets, are sure to keep any reader flipping the pages. I would say this book is marketed more toward young adults who enjoy fantasy novels. The con-play crowd are sure to enjoy this tale. So if that’s your thing, then you should def spice up your reading life by taking a break from dragons, zombies, and vampires—and give some gargoyles a try in “Scales.”

I received “Scales” for free from Sage’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Scales (Fate and Fire Trilogy) by Amity Green