292: Bait

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Synopsis

No one is coming to your aid. We have ensured this.

Six strangers wake up on a remote island in the Florida Keys with no memory of their arrival. They soon discover their common bond: all of them are heroin addicts. As the first excruciating pangs of withdrawal make themselves felt, the six notice a yacht anchored across open water. On it lurk four shadowy figures, protected by the hungry sharks that patrol the waves. So begins a dangerous game. The six must undertake the impossible—swim to the next island where a cache of heroin awaits, or die trying. When alliances form, betrayal is inevitable. As the fight to survive intensifies, the stakes reach terrifying heights—and their captors’ motives finally begin to emerge.

The Good

There is commentary on so many things:

  • How people see drug addicts
  • Drug addiction
  • War on drugs
  • Greed

Looking at how some bookish people reacted to the main characters being drug addicts this is not a misplaced commentary.

Also, I liked the horror moments that did appear.

The Bad

The racial representation is questionable.

I think this novel should have been longer just so there could have been more suspense. It spent a large amount of time building the character and not enough time actually having the horror happen. If it was longer there could have been more on the Lord of The Flies and Jaws elements that the tag on book talks about.

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Prom Queen Review

 

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Synopsis

A spring night, soft moonlight, five beautiful Prom Queen candidates, dancing couples at the Shadyside High prom—these should be the ingredients for romance. But instead they’re a recipe for terror…

The Good

I could pretend that I did not read Prom Queen in October of 2016 but I will not.

I liked that it was small and short. I miss the small mass market paperbacks that you can put in your purse. I miss the artsy cover arts of the 90s. I miss feeling like there was an expansive world out there in horror *sigh*

The Bad

I like the idea of Fear Street, the nostalgia, more than what the story is today.

Image result for Tiara TemplateBook version of jump scares (ugh)

Image result for Tiara Templatefeeling detached/underwhelmed by it all

Image result for Tiara TemplateThere was seriously a point where I was like I do not actually like this book. I wanted to put it down which is never a good sign.

Image result for Tiara Templatecharacters mesh together/they are not distinct. Did not like any of the characters because they were all mean. I am not into this thing where people are mean to each other and call themselves friends (unless it is fun which it was not in this case)

Image result for Tiara TemplateKind of guessed who did it early on (which probably was easy because I read almost all of the Fear Street books as a kid)

Image result for Tiara TemplateI wish I liked it because the books are old enough to be easily and cheaply accessible in used book market. I just did not feel any excitement while reading it. Overall it was blah.

I need some good (diverse) horror books in my life.

(image and synopsis are from goodreads)

T5W: SFF TBR

Recently, I have been in a mood for reading some science fiction (well, some of these are fantasy but I am more in a mood for science fiction. I think I actually may like sci-fi more than fantasy) books.

T5W Group  where meme originated can be found on the link.

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1. Unplugged

Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.

Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.

But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.

Status: Currently reading but waiting to get from the library. I already sampled the first three chapters.

What I like about Unplugged is that it has a dystopia that I feel is plausible. It has so many allusions to current day issues that black and brown people deal with and main character is latina. Also, this would be a good series to get into because the second one came out recently and the third  one comes out in December.

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2. The Between

When Hilton was just a boy, his grandmother sacrificed her life to save him from drowning. Thirty years later, he begins to suspect that he was never meant to survive that accident, and that dark forces are working to rectify that mistake. When Hilton’s wife, the only elected African-American judge in Dade County, FL, begins to receive racist hate mail, he becomes obsessed with protecting his family. Soon, however, he begins to have horrible nightmares, more intense and disturbing than any he has ever experienced. Are the strange dreams trying to tell him something? His sense of reality begins to slip away as he battles both the psychotic threatening to destroy his family and the even more terrifying enemy stalking his sleep. Chilling and utterly convincing, The Between follows the struggles of a man desperately trying to hold on to the people and life he loves, but may have already lost. The compelling plot holds readers in suspense until the final, profound moment of resolution.

Status: Currently reading – same as Unplugged except I am going to buy this one because it is cheap online.

Horror and fantasy!

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3. On the Edge of Gone

January 29, 2035.

That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter near their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.

Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?

When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?

Status: Haven’t started yet.

I moved it up my TBR because I think it would be fun to read it for autism awareness month. With the line “When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?” it is a sci-fi I have to read.

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4. Sorcerer to the Crown

Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debut.

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, eminently proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers—one of the most respected organizations throughout all of Britain—ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up.

But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…

Status: Read the prologue but have not read further yet.

Black. Victorian. fantasy.

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5. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.

Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.

Status: Still haven’t started yet.

A lot of sff books are doom and gloom so I like the idea of reading something hopeful. Having a book about exploring species, cultures, and worlds is appealing. I have not  read a book with any of these things since reading The Best of All Possible Worlds last year so I hope it is good.

Try A Chapter Tag: Mostly In Limbo

Since I found the Try A Chapter Tag I have been obsessed with it. Basically it is a more structured form of one of my  Samples&Previews posts.

Rules

1.Choose 5+ books that “you have been meaning to read”
2. Read up to the 1st Chapter (prologue included)
3.Yes or No, will you finish or set it aside?

Most of the  books I picked are in that space between officially own books  and getting rid of/adding to own list.

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The Creature From the Seventh Grade: Boy or Beast

The writing was off with this one. It had terribly done exposition: story  from idea to idea without correlation and the world building is not seamless. I feel the prologue and first chapter should’ve been edited down to one  single chapter for structure. In terms of the content of the story the main character is a stereotypical unpopular kid *yawn*

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

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Bait

It gets straight into the action which is so exciting and refreshing. Tells you a lot about the characters without directly telling, aka showing not telling (which Boy or Beast suffered from).

The tagline “Jaws meets Lord of the Flies meets Drugstore Cowboy”= I would say more Jaws meets The Most Dangerous Game.

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

Who Goes There, Lincoln?

Another book that has better exposition than Boy or Beast. I do like that the main character is black. I also like that his family has little threads about them to possibly pull on later. The problem is that this story feels bare which makes me not care about it.

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

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The Devotion of Suspect X

I like that the characters and setting are Japanese.This is one of those books you have to get into. I feel I’m in a light/fun kind of mood. I think this will be serious and philosophical which is not what I want right now.

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

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Truth or Hair

Yep, again exposition not done sloppy. I think I will wait until late August to continue reading this. I do think it is good so far. One thing I like about this series is that all the characters are distinct from each other.

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

Cycle of Thought

Need New Books

There is a discussion that was on my mind after sampling these books about how I need more books that fit me as a reader currently. I think my shelf of books are dated. Yes, a lot of purging happened in the last years because of my blog. However, there has not been a big input of books to match who I am as a reader today.

Cycle

Read Own Books

There are many things that stop me from getting new books.

  • Trying to save money
  • I have high DNF ratio
  • 347 books history has me leery

At the end of this sampling of books I knew I NEEDED  new books. In my next post I will go more in-depth to talk about what I need and don’t need in terms of books.

[all images are from goodreads except Who Goes There, Lincoln which is from amazon.]

Tuesday Flirtations- Dark Genesis (Spoilers)

Rules:
1. Read a free romance book (this was started for legally free eBooks, but you can count anything gifted, borrowed, ARC, etc!)
2. Review it on your blog. If you can and it’s still available, share the link to the free book.
3. Link back here by using the code below.
4. Leave your link to the specific blog post (NOT your main site) in a comment here or on the recent week’s TF post. Or the linky tool, though there may be bugs I gotta work through, please let me know!
5. Delight in reading reviews by real people who’s likes/dislikes you can compare to and thus find a romance you most likely will enjoy 😀

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Where is it available? kobo, amazon, barnes and noble

Genre(s): historical romance, interracial romance, fantasy, horror

Pages: 245

Life for a female slave is one of hardship and unspeakable sorrow, something Luna knows only too well. But not even she could have foreseen the terror that would befall her one sultry Mississippi evening in the summer of 1807.

On her way back from a visit to see the African woman, a witch who has the herbs Luna needs to rid her of her abusive master’s child, she attracts the attention of a deadly being that lusts for blood. Forcibly removed from everything she knows by this tormented otherworldly creature, she is sure she will be dead by sunrise.

Dark Genesis is a love story set against the savage world of slavery in which a young woman who has been dehumanised by its horrors finds the courage to love, and in doing so, reclaims her humanity

Pros

At the beginning this story was shaping to be a very unique story. It had me hooked from the first page because it has such a distinct voice. It is very much what I wanted and at the same time did not know I wanted from a book. The great parts of the book are:

  •  The interracial romance starting off
  • fantasy story set during slavery
  • Mother daughter relationship
  • Fantasy and horror aspects
  • The dark presence in the church
  • Her moms massive witchcraft powers
  • It dealt with the scars left on Luna because she is a female slave
Cons

One of my major problems with this story is that it builds up a really good story at the beginning of the novel just to derail it for the romance. The romance was not necessarily insta-love but I found myself not feeling it because it derailed the entire story and was not developed enough. I wanted the romance to be built up more. Even though, I had 75 pages left in this book I took a break because all the great things brought up in the first half weren’t getting their justice. It sucks that Dark Genesis started off so well just to fail like so many other paranormal/fantasy books. I don’t know why the supernatural elements seem to take a backseat so much in books that are supposed to be fantasy/paranormal.  This is the conundrum that hunts me each time I pick up one of these books. It is why I barely ever read in these genres.

It ended on a to be continued which bothered me because:

A. This story could have been one book.

It just does not feel like it needs a trilogy considering how it handled most of this book.

B. The elements that make you care for a sequel were not handled well. I don’t care about the descendent who had second sight because the book spent 90% of it not including her. She was in the first two chapters of the book then was not mentioned until the last chapter or two.

Library Checkout {34} 6/26/15

Chapter/Middle Grade Books

It  has come to my attention that I have not tried chapter books for some reason (that is pretty valid seeing how things are going so far…).

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I’m not sure if this will be good or not. I just know that it looks like it would make an interesting cartoon show. So I will try it.

My mom decided she wanted to read this after watching the book trailer. She is enjoying it so far. Of course I am going to try it.

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As I am writing this I have only read two chapter books that were both surprisingly eh. They weren’t bad but still not good enough  to say I need to get more chapter books. So be prepared for my review on both of the books later.

Graphic Novels

A lot of these are going to be from authors I am into right now.

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Since I read Behind The Scenes recently (the autobiography of Elizabeth Keckley, the seamstress for the Lincolns) I thought it would be fascinating to read about Abraham Lincolns Murder.

Black Hole has been on my started but not finished list for a while. It is time I finish it.

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I have finally came back to catch up on Attack On Titan. I hope that I enjoy it now that I’m not in that overall emotional state.

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This could go very well or wrong. On one hand there is a reason that I still remember why I let go of reading Archie comics. On the other hand he is one of the few black characters I’ve seen in the series. It is in his point of view which could be really interesting.

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From what I read so far of Crisis On Infinite Earths it is good. I got the first issue for free on google play.

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I started the Princeless  series, which was one of the best books I read  last year. The greatness of it is its representation of black girls and the story. I’ve only currently read issue #1 and #2 so I can finally finish the first series.

Picture Books

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I read Children Make Terrible Pets a couple of months ago by Peter Brown. It was very good. This one look like it will have all the good elements that Children Make Terrible pets: cute and funny. That is what I generally look for in picture books.

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Looks like it will hit all my wants in a picture book too.

Random Pick

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It’s bad enough when Max, Rebecca, Noah, and Theo just think Grandpa Gabe’s house is haunted. But then the old movie projector in the library opens a passageway to a world of monsters and creatures made of shadows – a place of secrets and dangers set loose when the sun sets. The only weapons to fight them lie in the land on the other side of the Shadow Door…

Library Checkout Reviews {33}

I lost my notebook with all my bookish thoughts somewhere so most of my reviews are not going to be in depth as they could be.

Things I Did Not Finish

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Both of these books were lyrical which put me off. I cannot figure out if I have lost my love for classics or it is just these books. I think it is my extremely low tolerance anything that feels like it will take more than five minutes to catch my interest. I want it all now or never. Yep, its probably these books. I will possibly come back to these later.

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Did not even bother with this one because I already tried my hand at Lovecraft, nope.

 

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Cute Girl Network  turned me off because the guy was in insta-like with the girl who seems like she is one of those not like other girls type of chicks. I got the feeling that was why he was into her. Color of Rage really never fully got my interest and some other things about it bugged me.

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Akira just did not get my interest in the bit I read.

Things I Finished But Ugh

These are not necessarily bad but I had issues.

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Awkward black girl

Spoilers (?) Warning

Pro

It is very easy to read which is a major part in me finishing it so quickly. There were many relatable moments (The hair chapter one was one of most relatable especially the reaction to wanting to cut off her hair).

I have to give Issa Rae credit for touching on how as a black kid you have to prove your blackness. If you don’t fit a certain mold of what is considered black you are acting outside of your race. She also gets into colorism and representation of black women in visual media.

I think that I am probably not giving her as much credit for what she did do because a lot of the book either rubbed me the wrong way, did not reach deep enough for me, or felt like a typical trying to fit in tale.

Cons

Since I have been getting memoirs/biographies lately I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a bit weird to rate them because it is like you are rating their life.

-The book is advertised to seem like it was going to be about being awkward and black and a woman. I did not feel her awkwardness like I did in the show.  Her life seemed like one of those coming of age movies (or I guess in this case book) with the girl trying to fit in/be popular. It did have the element of her dealing with how being black and a woman effects that but I kept feeling she did not go deep enough with everything.  There a lot of stories that were just her trying hard to fit in with no commentary behind them. They probably were meant to be funny, they just left me cold.

-She had some moments where she gets to close to new black.

-A lot of things rubbed me the wrong way. For example, there is a chapter she categorizes black people into stereotypes.

-She is privileged in many ways which I think informed many of her opinions.

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Chicken Dance was okay. I’m not into Elvis and it was just ok.

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So there was a bunch of not surprising stuff. One of the big things that is bothersome is the main character coming into  a new place being all I know everything and not being any amount of maybe I should figure out the lay of the land. Overall, this story is eh.

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Ugh, cheesy insect jokes. This is no A Bugs Life now that had some good bug jokes ;).   I did not enjoy this. Also, I feel that how things went down was eh. I want to give it something for going somewhere a little different with the mystery but eh.

Things That Make Me Remember Why I Love Reading

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The Mermaid and the Shoe

This book was awesome. The main character is so cute! This lends itself to a sequel which I will be anticipating.

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If you liked Over The Garden Wall You May Like this. I do feel that they are similar but very different at the same time. Over The Garden Wall is better in my opinion though.

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It brings up the many issues with the  criminal justice system and other important stuff (I do not want to get into because spoilers). I really enjoyed this book. It was the best book of this entire checkout for two main reasons: it was good and showed me still very much enjoying a book by an author I liked in the past. In the wreckage that was the last couple of years there were many authors that ceased to be my favorites.