“Stalking Jack The Ripper” by Kerri Maniscalco — Book Review

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About The Book:

  Audrey Rose Wadsworth is a young lady who has a different sort of hobby than most ladies in nineteenth century England have. The hobby? Well, she likes to assist her uncle in performing autopsies. It is because of this unique past time that she gets involved with the victims of Jack the Ripper, and therefore decides that she wants to find him. Only, doing so will test her heart in ways she may never have imagined…

My Review:

  The cover of this book is gorgeous (Doesn’t it just call out for those who pass by it to pick it up?). I myself have seen this book, but ignored it for some time despite the lovely cover. Then I listened to a sample of the audio book version, and, my interest piqued even more, I decided to give the full thing a listen.

The story is dark. There are a lot of sad happenstances, and gory details add to the grayish mood. Nonetheless, it was fascinating. It is one of the few stories I have recently read where I really was not sure what was going to happen. When I thought the story was having a lagging moment, something would happen to keep my interest. I love it when a story can keep me guessing for fair amounts of time. Otherwise, I can grow a little bored.

Another thing I like is that the author really painted her story world well without overwhelming me with too long descriptions. It’s almost as if I truly visited White Chapel, The Wadsworths’ Residence, laboratories, and even a mental asylum. 😛

As for characters, I liked the heroine, and found  some of her sense of humor entertaining. Some of the other characters were interesting, like Thomas and Audrey’s uncle. I liked her relationship with her brother, and I found the fact that her father was an extreme germ-a-phobe amusing (Probably should not have…). As for Jack the Ripper— well, I won’t tell you who he was in the story, but…just, why? WHY?

Since I listened to this book instead of reading it, I thought I would mention that I found the narrator’s voice to be perfectly chilly. She does a pleasant job of bringing the characters to life, and her tone really sets a mysterious atmosphere.

Negatives…. Hm, there were some curse words, and there were some negative references to God that I found off-putting.

Except for the negative stuff, I did really like this book, and am looking forward to its sequel’s release. I give “Stalking Jack The Ripper” by Kerri Maniscalco a rating of four.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

 

Drama Wednesday (11) — What I’m Watching

Today for Drama Wednesday, I’m sharing some stuff about dramas I’m watching.

 

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“Circle: Two Worlds Connected” (2017)— Oh. my. Oh. my. OH MY! This drama. You guys, THIS DRAMA IS AWESOME!!! (+a gazillion more exclamation points)

I have not seen a drama quite like it. It’s a sci-fi tale that has an alien, a futuristic world with a “perfect” city, cool technology…. Yet the thing that just makes it so stinking amazing is the plot. Sooo good, ya’ll. I’m on episode 7, and I think they have up through episode 10 available on Dramafever . It’s supposed to only have 12 episodes, so I think the last two air next week. Which is bad, because if I finish what is available before then, I might suffer some show withdrawals. #thesearenotgood

 

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“Sweet Stranger and Me” (2016)— This drama is one I’m taking my time getting through, though not because it is a bad drama. I like it thus far, but it sadly pales in comparison to some of the other dramas I’m watching at this time. However, it is enjoyable, and does make me smile. Also, can I just mention the theme song? I LOVE it. On episode 8.

 

 

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“My Sassy Girl” (2017)— I was not too sure about this drama when I was first started watching it. It was funny, yes, but (for me) it was also sometimes confusing ,and maybe a little slow in parts of it.  However, I decided to push through the first episode and a half that had me questioning it, and I’m glad I did because it is turning out to be an entertaining show. A nice amount of funny mixed with some mystery and palace politics? Um, YES. I’ve made it to episode 7, but only eight episodes are currently available since this is a currently airing show.

 

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“The Best Hit” (2017)— Last, but not least, I am watching “The Best Hit.” This show about a 90’s pop star who travels to the future is hilarious. It is probably even funnier than “My Sassy Girl.” The episodes are shorter than most K-Dramas, less than 45 minutes long. This is the only one of all the dramas I’m watching that I have watched all of the currently available episodes. I kind of need more now, but the next episodes aren’t available until Friday. #whyyy? #needthemnowdramfever

If you like comedy, you should try this series. I think episode one was probably the slowest of the available episodes, so be sure not to judge the show by just watching one episode, okay? Okay. 😀

 

What Dramas Are You Watching? Please share.

You Might Be A Bookworm If…

You might be a bookworm if…

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1. You spend more money on books than on clothes, shoes, hair products, etc. ( Who needs to look good when there are books? 😉 )


2. You get  freakishly excited when a book store comes into your sights when you are out. (Also, you get looks from whoever is with you because they strangely dread wandering the halls of a bookstore. #why?)

3. Half-Price = Double Happy!


4. You’re running out of shelf space. Again. Maybe even bookcase space.

5. You have to force yourself to smile at someone who just said “reading is boring.” It might  look like this: (>_<)                           

dreamstimefree_1220416. You have at least twenty books that you own, but have not read. Plus, there are all of those books you are planning to buy. #noregretspeople.

 

 

7. Extra money! *goes to book store* Well, there went that.

 

8. Random Individual: “What do you want for your Birthday?” Bookworm: “Books!” Random Individual: “Here’s a gift card. I can’t keep up with all the books you have read.”


9. “Have you read this?” *book worm looks at book, then sighs in disappointment because they momentarily thought they found a new book to add to their TBR pile(s)* “Yes.” 

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10. You see a person with a book you have read , want to go up and talk about book, but you don’t know them 😦


11. Book Sales are your Black Friday.


12. *sees cheap book and reaches for it* “Don’t do it. You already have-” *ignores voice in head and buys the book*


13. Bookworm: “Yay! I have been waiting for this book for so long. Now I can read it.” Books on shelf: “We’ve been waiting to be read longer!” Bookworm: “Hee hee.” * proceeds to read new book*


14. A non-book lover: “Why do you own so many books?” Bookworm: “That question is invalid. Please try again.”

 

*Images by Dmitry BomshteinDaniel Gilbey, and Jody Vrugteveen.

“Immortal Fire” by Annette Marie— Book Review

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About:

Emi and the gang are on the final parts of their journey to save the world from the earth Kami. Time is running out, and for them to succeed, a too-soon-death is a possibility for one of them.

This is the third and final book in Annette Marie’s Japanese Urban Fantasy, “The Red Winter Trilogy.”

My Review:

I loved the first two books in this series. They were different than my usual reads, and I appreciated the unique quality they had for me. The characters were also awesome, and the endings each contained a cliff-hanger (*sings* Hanging from a cliff…. and that’s while he’s called CLIFF HANGERRR! *stops singing* *hopes someone understands this* ).

How did book number three compare? Well, there is not a whole lot I can say without spoiling the book/series, so I will simply say that…

A lot of it was still pretty. darn. cool. Just about all of the things that happened were a perfect blend for a series’ finale. All the questions I wanted answered were answered. There was action, sweet romantic moments, heart tearing tragedy… (What? I like a bit of drama, all right? All right.) Oh, and unexpectedness. When I read a book and things happen that I do not see coming, it always makes the book a hundred times better. (Yes, sometimes even if it is sad.)

Yet there was a big downer in this book for me. *sniffles*

I won’t  go into vivid detail, but there was a long, intimate romantic scene between two characters. I liked that the previous two books were cleaner in the romance department, yet this book crossed my border of comfort-ability with the scene. So yeah, I did a bit of skim reading and skipping over this part. 😛

Aside from that one scene though, I really did enjoy reading this final book in the series, and am a touch sad that it is over. It was a lovely time, and I terribly wish there would be future books with these characters in the works for the future. Alas, I know of no such thing.

I give “Immortal Fire” by Annette Marie a rating of four. If you plan to read this book, I recommend you read the previous two because you would seriously be missing a lot of important stuff.

 

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

*Thanks to Xpresso Blog Tours for a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet” by Stephanie Morrill— Book Review

Fun fact that I have not discussed much on this blog: I’m a writer, and today I have a review for a book that I think other writers might enjoy (or even non-writer bookworms that like contemporary set books). It kind of reminded me of that old Disney Channel movie, “Read it and Weep,” yet was still its own story.

 

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About (From Publisher’s Website):

“When ousted by her lifelong friends, teen writer Ellie Sweet takes to story writing as self-therapy. She casts herself as Lady Gabrielle, a favorite in the medieval Italian court, her ex-friends as her catty rivals, and makes a pesky rake of the boy who thinks he’s too good for her in real life. But when Ellie achieves the impossible and her “coping mechanism” becomes a published novel, she faces the consequences of using her pen as her sword.”


My Review:

I like how this book shows the ordinary aspects of a writer’s life. We writers can make some interesting worlds, but I can guess that most of our lives contain the ordinary circumstances of normal, everyday living. I’ve not read many books where the heroine is a writer, and with the first-person point of view giving me an in-depth look into her thoughts and feelings, I couldn’t help but end up liking her story. Though Ellie’s life does have some aspects that do seem less likely to often happen in the real world (sixteen year old gets published = wow), it was still realistic enough where it could have happened. Add in that Ellie has hard things to deal with in her life that remind me of circumstances I’ve been through, and she became someone easy for me to cheer on.

I also like the diverse characterization in the supporting characters. When I read a story that has characters that are so different than the usual, it makes a good impression on me. From the boy on the other side of the tracks, to the grandmother who isn’t exactly the “cookie-baking, hugging” type, I commend the author for giving an interesting cast to be a part of Ellie’s tale.

Now, though I over all liked this book, I do have a few negative thoughts. For one, I would have liked it if I could have gotten more glimpses into Ellie’s story world (just something I was curious about). And even though Ellie is someone I can relate to and whose wit and sass I found amusing, I probably would have liked her story a lot more if I had read it when I was younger. Don’t get me wrong— I still like the book— but I found that Ellie’s immature decisions in her teenage drama, especially when it came to romance, were somewhat more irritating for me than they may have once been. (That’s probably part of me getting older…)

But to summarize, I think that this is a fun, thought-provoking story. Entertaining, but certainly containing some depth, “The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet” is a winner in the contemporary YA. For sure, Ellie Sweet is one of the few contemporary fiction heroines who I’ve been able to relate to more than just a little.
I give “The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet” by Stephanie Morrill a rating of four.

 

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

Drama Wednesday (10)— Korean…Books

I love books. I love Korean things. (Dramas. Music. ETC.) No big shock that I get rather excited when I find them combined. It’s like when you mix all of your favorite ice creams together and come up with a wondrous creation that exceeds the individual flavors. (Okay, so this is a rare thing, but imagine if it did work out?)

Today I thought I would share some  books that are either K-Drama/K-Pop themed, or  have Korean elements, that I hope to read soon. These books are ones I have found while wasting time browsing the internet. (No, I’ve not read/finished reading any of them, so I cannot recommend them. They just look like stuff I’d read and like.):

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“K-Love” by Devon Atwood and Alice Cornwall— K-Love is one of my favorite radio stations, but this book is a YA about love that starts with a mother’s love of Korean Dramas. How? The mother sets her daughter up on a blind date with a Korean guy all because of her love for Korean dramas. *plans to buy soon*

 

“Kidnapped Idol,” “Undercover Fan,” and “Snowflake Kisses” by Jennie Bennet— This series of novellas looks so cute. They follow K-Pop stars, and I need them on my shelf right now.

 

“Eun and the Phantom,” “Foxtails,” and “Evangeline” by Erica Laurie— “Eun and the Phantom” is about a woodcutter’s daughter who falls in love with a man cursed to be a phantom. “Foxtails” takes place in regency England, but has Gumihos, which are Korean mythical creatures also known as nine-tailed-foxes. “Evangeline” is about a modern day American girl who is transported to a fantasy world that resembles a historical Korea.

 

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“Hello, I Love You” by Katie M. Stout—Another K-Pop book, this is about a girl who falls in love with a K-Pop star. I’m sure there’s more to it, but that’s all I feel like sharing.

 

“To All The Boys I Loved Before,” “P.S. I Still Love You,” and “Always and Forever, Lara Jean” by Jenny Han— This series just looks like a fun contemporary. It’s about a half-Korean girl who writes letters to boys she has crushes on. These letters are not meant to be seen by the crushes, but someone sends them out. Not. good.

 

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“Lady of Dreams” by W.R. Gingell— This book is another that takes place in a fantasy land that resembles Korea. The heroine is “Half Korean” and can spy on people through dreaming.

 

Do you have any suggestions for books that include Korean elements? Please share. 😀

“Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen— Book Review

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About The Book (On Back of Book):
 
  “A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen’s “Gothic parody.” Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.
The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.
Executed with high-spirited gusto, Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen’s novels, yet at its core this delightful novel is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage.”
My Review:

Jane Austen is probably one of the world’s most loved authors despite her books being centuries old. I personally liked some of the film adaptions of her books, but it wasn’t until years later that I finally got around to one of her books. The book, “Northanger Abbey,” is one that I’ve owned for years, had tried to read, but did not get far into it before I set it aside and put it in the “someday” space on my TBR list. Now, not only am I here to inform you that I have read this book, but also that I really enjoyed it!  Truly, now I have a better understanding of all the hype Miss Austen’s books have. Her characters were so real, even relate-able despite that they were written by an author who was born way before my time. Plus, I get this feeling that Miss Austen was a sarcastic type, which made her work even more enjoyable to me.

  I really liked both the heroine and hero of the book, Catherine Morland and Mr. Henry Tilney. Catherine is just the sort of young lady who I can easily relate to. She likes to read novels, discussing what she reads, and sees herself as a heroine in a book. Which, technically speaking, she is a book heroine, but she’s not supposed to know that and therefore the lessons she learns in her story are humorously burning to a reader like myself. Especially when I watched Catherine learn how to separate real life with the stuff in novels.

  And then there’s Mr. Tilney. I liked him very much, especially his first conversation with Catherine (*smirk*). I cannot compare him to Austen’s other heroes (unless I used film adaptions, and I fear that would be frowned upon…), so I’ll sum up his as a charmingly steady hero. He isn’t exactly dashingly romantic. Aside from a good sense of humor, he’s somewhat average. Yet, not too average, as he is also a forgiving sort and does like a novel. I suppose it is safe to say that why he comes off as less dashing than other heroes is because he seems more realistic than some heroes in books. Which is good, because I think more books need average heroes.

  The book also deals with the trials one can go through by befriending the wrong sorts. This was particularly interesting to me, because one of the “friend” relationships Catherine has in this story was much like ones I have had. To think that people still act the same way these days… it’s scary, dear readers.

  To sum this review up, I will say that “Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen is an overall delightful tale that I’m glad I finally read. It wasn’t perfect-sometimes it was a tad slow, and some use of God’s name I did care for- but overall I liked it enough to give it a rating of four and a half. And I do plan to read more by Miss Austen now. In fact, I might already have purchased all of her finished novels…

Also, I really liked the B&N classic Edition because it would have little notes to explain words I did not know much about due to their lack of use in most modern day conversations and books.

 

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.