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Amal – audiobook

Review:

Amal Unbound - Aisha Saeed, Priya Ayyar

Audience: Middle Grade

Format: Audiobook

Library Copy

 

 

I watched from the window as the boys tumbled out of the brick schoolhouse across the field from us.

-first sentence

 

Amal loves school and her dream is to one day go to college and become a teacher. But one day, a chance encounter disrupts her life. She becomes an indentured servant to the family of her village’s corrupt landlord. Amal plans to work until she pays off her family’s debt, but when she finds out the truth, what will she do?

 

This story takes place in Pakistan and is meant for a middle-grade audience. Amal is a fantastic strong female character; she knows what she wants, she knows what is right, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in.

 

I listened to the audio and the narrator, Priya Ayyar did a wonderful job. I’m counting this for “A” for the HA a-z challenge on Goodreads.

 

Recommended to grades 4-6.

Original post:
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Cujo – audiobook

Review:

Cujo - Stephen King, Simon & Schuster Audio, Lorna Raver

Audience: Adult

Format: Audio

Library Copy

 

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the town of Castle Rock, Maine.

– first sentence

 

This is a reread for me and I didn’t remember many details. I think I avoided it because of my love of dogs. I listened to the audio; Lorna Raver gives an excellent performance and helped me get lost in the story.

 

I was surprised by the beginning stuff about the monster (serial killer) Frank Dodd. I found myself wondering what that had to do with the rabid dog. But this story isn’t about a rabid dog. It’s about evil… evil and coincidences. It’s also a look back in time at what was once thought acceptable in a marriage.

 

As the story progresses, the parts with Cujo are separated by the stories of the Trenton family and the Camber family. Each family is dealing with their own issues, and these ultimately lead to the events which conclude with the showdown of mother and child trapped in a Pinto by Cujo.

 

It broke my heart to listen to Cujo’s thoughts as the disease progressed and he gradually went mad. But it was easier to read/listen to than it was to watch the movie. All I really remember from the movie is the part with Cujo and the car. I might have to watch it again just for comparison.

 

So, is an Evil force controlling the events that lead to the heartbreaking conclusion, or is it just coincidence? Does it even matter?

 

I’m using this for “C” in the Goodreads HA A-Z challenge.

Original post:
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Pet Sematary – audiobook

Review:

Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook

Library Copy

 

 

Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened…”

– beginning of first sentence

 

The first sentence sounds so innocuous, and yet this is the novel that Stephen King himself has called his scariest. Perhaps because it centers on death and how fear of death can compel people to do the unthinkable.

 

I am currently rereading Stephen King books that I haven’t read in decades. I listened to IT a couple of years ago because I wanted to refresh my memory before I saw the movie. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to try the audios of more of his books. When I saw that the Pet Sematary movie is being remade, I decided this should be my next listen. I am glad I did. This book was scary and totally immersive – I was obsessed with listening to this. Michael C. Hall gave an amazing performance. I was constantly picturing him as Louis Creed, even while I kept seeing Fred Gwynne (from the original movie) as Jud Crandall.

 

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good scare. πŸ™‚

 

I’m using this as “P” for the HA a-z challenge on Goodreads.

Original post:
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Yellow Brick War

Review:

Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die) - Danielle  Paige

 

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Hardcover

Owned

 

The witches were waiting.

– first sentence

 

The third book in the series takes Amy back to Kansas to continue her fight to save Oz (and The Other Place (Kansas) too). New characters become involved, we get a look at how Amy’s disappearance affected her negligent mother, and find out some new details about Dorothy. And of course, there are twists and deception.

 

This book is a fun continuation of the series. I remain spellbound by this version of Oz and the entire cast of characters. Recommended to fans of alternate realities and fractured fairy tales.

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Swashbuckling Adventure with an Enchanting Twist

Review:

Daughter of the Pirate King - Tricia Levenseller

 

 

Audience: Young Adult

 

We’re outnumbered. Outgunned. Seven of my men lie dead on their backs. Two more jumped overboard as soon as they saw the black flag of the Night Farer on the horizon.

 

opening paragraph

 

Seventeen-year-old Alosa is not only the daughter of the Pirate King, but also a captain of her own ship, and a powerful fighter with more than a few tricks up her sleeve. She allows herself to be captured in order to complete a mission for her father – to find one-third of an ancient map which leads to a legendary treasure.

 

Alosa is a strong, smart, fierce fighter, and she has a secret which can bend any man to her will. I like her character, but she seems a bit cocky at times and I couldn’t figure out why (until the reveal). I love that Riden (the first mate of the pirates who unwittingly take Alosa prisoner) is clever enough to see through most of Alosa’s tricks. Their rivalry makes it impossible for them to even imagine liking each other, but they can’t deny they are both clever and strong-willed.

 

Alosa is easy to root for. Her relationship with Riden sometimes seems a certain disaster and other times seems meant to be. This book is well-written, exciting, and filled with action and unexpected twists. Even during the last battle, things happen that you won’t see coming.

 

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a high seas adventure with a strong female lead – young adults and adults too.

 

 

 

 

Original post:
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There are two reasons why a writer would end a sentence with the word “stop” written entirely in capital letters STOP. The first is if the writer were writing a telegram… But there is another reason why a writer would end a sentence with “stop” written entirely in capital letters, and that is to warn readers that the book they are reading is so utterly wretched that if they have begun reading it, the best thing to do would be to stop STOP.

Opening Lines

 

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The Hostile Hospital