Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land

400 p.
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: 1/17/17
Source: From publisher for review
Twenty-four hours. That's all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever. 
Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career. When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it's after him. 
Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex's attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.
My thoughts:

While I would classify the book as YA since the protagonist is a teen, I really can see this being read by adults as well. It is more a sci-fi thriller than YA in it's feel.

This was a intense ride. There are a little bit of social issues at hand in this book which I found interesting since it is a turn on its head than what is generally expected, but it really is about Alex, Sam (an intelligent girl) and aliens which all fit into questions about Alex's life he never thought to ask. There is murder and a mysterious plot in which Alex and Sam must figure out and stay ahead of what or who is stalking them. Not sure who to trust, often they fall into the right hands and while this is terribly convenient, it also doesn't feel too implausible.

I'd say that this is an easy sci-fi book if you are looking to get into the genre but not willing to go whole hog science. If you are on the other side of the spectrum of wanting a lot of science in your sci-fi, there is science in the book and it is well placed and it makes sense. Nothing too over the top but just enough to keep the plot holes at a minimum. It really is the thrill and the mystery that takes precedence in the book.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I think those looking for an easy but thrilling sci-fi book would enjoy this one. Also, while the ending is a bit of a cliff hanger, it also isn't as well. It can lead to other adventures or really stand on its own while you imagine what could happen next.

Bloggy Note:
It took me quite a while to get to the review because I had one heck of a cold which didn't want to let go (I'm finally getting better). I also have a dog (not the dobie) who is having some bad days. Luckily she is also having some good ones inbetween. So, things may get spotty here at best.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Taking a Humorous Review Break: The Handmaiden's Tale and 1984

I'm sure you just went... "What? Humorous?" and then started making plans for my padded room. Na, just more Thug Notes (yes you might get sick of me posting these, but I like them). These are humorous AND very informative. I love his analysis. I thought I'd take 2 books which have reemerged in the best seller lists. You can see why they are popular now.

The Handmaiden's Tale:


Yea, so it might be cheating a bit letting someone else review these, but they are pretty good book reviews!



Monday, February 6, 2017

Binge Post: Netflix

As most of you, I've been overwhelmed, but also taken the time to learn what is going on. In the middle of that I need to take a break to recharge and that is also why I've been trying to make more positive posts like this lately. I'm a bit scattered so my entertainment reading has been a bit sporadic. Thankfully I've been able to binge a bit on Netflix shows. I've always felt behind but I'm catching up to all you cool kids. 😎

In the past I talked about Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Well, the one that started it all was Daredevil. There are 2 seasons there right now. For a good Catholic boy with a strong moral compass, I'd have to say this one was surprisingly the bloodiest and darkest of the three. Yep, a few times I had to close my eyes or look away. So, do be aware of that.

Season 2

I also finally watched all of Penny Dreadful
I really enjoyed this one and I really liked the dark take on all the creatures we are used to seeing. Then the ending episode came. At first I thought it was an apt ending, but the more I thought about it, it was horrible and left WAY too many secondary stories hanging. It was cancelled and they just threw together an ending. So the more I thought about it, the more I hated that ending episode. Too bad, because I could really see this take off in so many directions.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Every Which Way Crochet Borders by Edie Echman

Genre: Crafts
224 p.
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Published: 1/24/17
Source: From NetGalley and publisher for review
Step-by-step instructions and symbol charts put these 100 creative new border designs within reach for beginning and advanced crocheters alike. If you’re ready to chart your own crocheted course, Edie Eckman offers plenty of helpful design advice, including how to choose an appropriate border for each project and how to incorporate an element from the main stitch pattern into a new border design. She then explains, with the help of close-up photos, how the same pattern can have dramatically different results depending on the weight of the yarn. With each pattern diagramed to approach in both rounds and rows, Every Which Way Crochet Borders is an inventive and invaluable resource.
My thoughts:

Well, one of the crafts I like to do is crochet. However, I rarely have the patience to do large crochet patterns. So, when I saw this one, I knew it would be for me. It had exactly what I wanted. Not only did it give a great variety of border patterns, it also gave me how to embellish a fleece blanket. That was really what I was after.

I have read other crafts which prefer a hook that has a needle in it to puncture the fabric, but you are still left to figure out even spacing as well (in my case specifically) how to not puncture yourself. There is a rotary blade (you can find the blades and handles in the quilting section of the craft store) that cuts the fabric at even intervals and you evenly cut with that one. Perfect! It is a bit costly for one blade, but it would serve the exact purpose I will need. I haven't purchase it yet, but I am saving my pennies for it later. So you can see, you can find all manner of tidbits within the pages.

So, while some of the borders are very simple and easily achieved, I would still put this book at advanced beginner to intermediate depending on what one you are following. If you have the basics down you can take off from there much easier. There are helpful hints for beginners as well so don't be afraid to try it.

I give this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to crocheters who want to really embellish those items with a unique border or those needing inspiration getting into a new craft.

Bloggy note: If you would like a short intro by the author and publisher, a short article HERE that helps you choose the best border for your project.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Taking a Break: Humanity and a Humorous Book Review

No matter what side you take with politics around the world (seems like the US is far from the only one experiencing turmoil) I think you have been overwhelmed as I have lately. I do think we need a break on occasion to charge our batteries. So those about to leave, relax nothing bad here at all. I hope this helps a bit to recharge so you can continue to #resist!

Now that one may make you tear a bit, but they will be good tears, I promise. The kids wrestling match gets me every time (ok, all the kid ones get to me)!

Also, if you know me, you know I enjoy the classic, Jane Eyre. However, I love this version and analysis of it. Do watch the ending for the analysis. He does a great job of it. Good overview for those that haven't read it or seen the movie. LOL A bit NSFW due to language. πŸ˜‰
Hope that put a smile on your face.