Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Favorite Book Things #2

I'm going to stick to the horror thing... but I'm going to go much younger this time.

I never really got into Goosebumps. When they were published in 1992, I was more into Christopher Pike, LJ Smith and similarly middle-grade level books. However, I did like Phantom Valley books by Lynn Beach. Lynn Beach is a pseudonym for Kathryn Lance, an author, ghostwriter and editor.

Phantom Valley consisted of 9 books published between 1991 and 1993. They were similar in length to Goosebumps- about 130 pages. Each book involves a different student at Chilleen Academy and the creepy supernatural things that happen to them.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Naturals Review

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

 Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

4 out of 5 stars
Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle

Sunday, November 17, 2013

America's Next Top Model Cycle 20 - The Finale

The finale of America's Next Top Model Cycle 20 was on Friday.

To be honest, I wasn't all that excited to watch it. There has always been talk of the show being rigged and, over the years, there have been cycles that felt rigged- either for the winner or just to keep up the drama. This was one of those seasons.

The final three found out last week that one of them would be eliminated before the fashion show. As I predicted, Cory was the eliminated contestant... despite the fact that his picture was infinitely better than Marvin's. Of course, he still had to walk in the show with the other two as part of the fashion video. The other contestants and Laura James, the cycle 19 winner, also walked in the show.

The video was kind of cheesy. Jourdan has the love of a good man, Marvin, but is lured into the dark and abusive underbelly of modeling by Cory. She becomes famous but miserable and wants to break free, but Cory has such a hold on her. She has to choose between good and evil- Marvin and Cory. The story ends there on the video and picks back up on the runway where Jourdan obviously picks good over evil.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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My Favorite Book Things #1

I miss the Horror genre.

It was a time when evil was evil and not just lacking the love of some girl. Vampires were bad and no one wanted to have sex with them. There were creepy dolls and scary creatures. And, while it still exists in a few major authors, it's not as prevalent as it was in the 90s when my teen self discovered it.

So, I thought I'd share my favorite horror author: D. A. Fowler, also with books under Debra Fowler. It's actually kind of hard to find any information on the internet about her, including how many books she actually wrote. I've come up with at least 7, though. I have 5 so far.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

America's Next Top Model Cycle 20- A Rant and Week Before the End Prediction

This is the worst cycle in the history of ANTM.

There. I said it... and I bet most would agree with me.

It's not because guys were included, though that doesn't make a lot of sense considering how different male and female modeling are. The combination of incredibly unlikeable judges, the same stupid rating system used in cycle 19, and the gimmicky photo shoots that didn't even pretend to be about fashion all contributed to just how bad this cycle is.

The "living photo" aspect of the pictures made each shot, even ones that otherwise looked like they might have been in a magazine, look tacky and cheap. The photo shoots themselves were not even attempting to be high fashion- something that ANTM always seemed to try for before.

The judges are the worst. They traded likeable, relatively fair people like the Jays and Nigel for the awful Kelly Cutrone and Rob Evans. And with the judging system as it is now, it allowed Kelly and Rob to be completely biased with their scores. Kelly, at least once, gave a low score just because the girl talked back to her and completely disregarded the photo. Rob had a hate on for Cory the whole season for no reason I could see aside from the fact that he's androgynous and gave his scores that reflected that. The social media voting is stupid. I'd much rather the fan participation be limited to the finale like Australia's Next Top Model (a much better show, BTW) does.

Another thing I noticed in this cycle was more time devoted to the drama in the house. While it has always been there, at least half of each episode had nothing to do with modeling. There was much less focus on catwalk and go-sees.

Anyway... on to the final 3.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Trouble With Goodbye Review

The Trouble With Goodbye by Sarra Cannon

One night can change everything…

Two years ago, Leigh Anne Davis shocked everyone in tiny Fairhope, Georgia when she broke up with her wealthy boyfriend to attend an Ivy League university a thousand miles away. At school, she finds a happiness and independence she’s never known.

Until one terrifying night takes it all away from her.

With no place else to go, Leigh Anne heads home to reclaim her old life. A life she worked so hard to escape. On the outside, she seems like the same girl everyone has always known. But deep inside, she’s hiding a terrible secret.

That’s when she meets Knox Warner, a troubled newcomer to Fairhope. His eyes have the same haunted look she sees every day in the mirror, and when she’s near him, the rest of the world fades away. But being with Knox would mean disappointing everyone all over again. If she wants to save what’s left of her old life, she has no choice but to say goodbye to him forever.

Only, the trouble with goodbye is that sometimes it’s about courage and sometimes it’s about fear. And sometimes you’re too broken to know the difference until it’s too late.

3 out of 5 stars

The Trouble With Goodbye is the first book in the Fairhope series.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure Season One

Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure

Netflix Summary: This sequel to "H2O: Just Add Water" follows a boy named Zac who turns into a merman after falling into a magical pool. Zac's new powers could spell trouble for the three young mermaids who guard Mako Island.

Number of Episodes: 26 

Stars:  Lucy Fry, Ivy Latimer, Amy Ruffle, Chai Rumruen

Additional Info: In the US, Mako Mermaids in a Netflix exclusive

By accident, I caught an episode block of the original H2O: Just Add Water on Nickelodeon. I've never really been much of a mermaid fan, but I enjoyed it and eventually watched all three seasons on Netflix. When Mako Mermaids showed up, my husband kindly added it to the queue for me.