Tuesday, April 25

Book Review: For All Time by Caroline B Cooney

Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Title: For All Time (Time Travelers #4)
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, and Historical Fiction
Pages: 272
Published: Oct 2001
Where I Got It: My Shelf (I honestly can't remember)

Annie Lockwood is testing Time. She’s traveled through it before, but always at Time’s bidding. Now she is asking Time to take her to the year 1899, when Strat is in Cairo. But Time doesn’t like to be tested. In what feels like a cruel joke, Annie is transported to ancient Egypt, thousands of years before Strat was born — to a world far removed from the one she knows. Meanwhile, in 1899, Strat is photographing the same pyramids that Annie walks among. But while Strat eagerly awaits Annie’s arrival, another visitor arrives: his father, Hiram Stratton, Sr., has come to Egypt to collect his son.

Powerless, Annie and Strat both look to Time. Can its force, which brought them together once, help them find each other again?

I swear my memory is getting so bad. I swear I read this and the other books in the series an eon ago...but after reading this I don't recall anything. Lucky me, though, this stands well as a stand alone so I was able to read this even though I couldn't remember the events of the past. 

This story follows a few characters. There is Annie who is from the 1990s and she has a special bond with Time..it likes to sweep her around. Strat is a young man in the 1890s whose dad is rich and crappy, so he decides to run away and become an archaeologist. Annie and Strat met in the past books and are in love. The author also included a couple side characters: Rennifer (a girl in Ancient Egypt), Camilla (a woman who dresses as a man to be a hired secret agent), and a couple others who got their two cents in. 

I felt bad for Annie and Strat. Time is a cruel wench who likes to put them together for a day or two and then tear them apart again. That would really stink. However, it was fun to cheer for them!

I really loved the interplay of all the different time periods and locations. The author did wonderful mixing everything together. The author did a good job at writing the different POVs. However, I do think that some of the POVs were not really needed and seemed to slow the pace of the story. The pace wasn't consistent. 

Also...I hated the ending. I get what the author was doing...but GAH *throws book*. Annie needs a kick in the butt. I felt bad for her, but I was so annoyed with her the entire time, but the ending made me loath her. Stupid chit. However, Strat was a cutie and I think he deserves a better everything...better family, a better lover, etc. Poor guy has had a hard time.

I am curious to see what happens next. I do recommend this even if you skip the other books. This was a fun book, but it did have some issues. I'll give this 3 stars.   
















Monday, April 24

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

“Are you happy with your life?” 
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.” 

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

My thoughts:
It was not amazing, but at the same time I could not put it down. I started reading it, and then I finished it. It was just impossible to put down, I needed to know what would happen.

It's about Jason who gets knocked out and wakes up in a strange place. And I was all wtf happened? A parallel universe? Cos here he is not married, he has no son, and he spent his life following his passion in science.

And that is the whole deal, wtf happened? What is this? And when he tries to find out, well then it got even more impossible to put down. And then it got real crazy.

Conclusion:
So there was something in the story that just pulls you in. I can still not say it's amazing. BUT it's amazing in the fact how it makes you unable to stop reading....strange really.

Cover
meh

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 11th 2016 by Macmillan
Fiction / sci-fi /suspense
Library

Sunday, April 23

Joint Discussion: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer






Happy April everyone! This month Blodeuedd and I read and discussed "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close".  Blodeuedd is in red and I am in purple. 
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer 
Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Genre: Fiction
Pages: ebook
First Published: April 2005
Where I Got It: My shelf (Bought on Amazon)



Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.



So this was Carole’s book but I chose it, and damn, it felt like we could have lots to talk about and love it. But I am bad at choosing (in my own opinion.) I get one good book a year, and as this is the last book for some time for us, I would have wanted to go out with THE BEST BOOK EVER. Ha, not gonna happen. To me it was a disappointment in the end. How did it go for you?

I am very bummed by this book. I LOVED LOVED LOVED THE MOVIE, so I expected the book to be the same and/or better. But nope...not the case.


I have not seen the movie so I can not have an opinion, but it has to be better than this so I believe you.

Maybe one day I can force you to watch it ;D. But the book? Meh. The beginning and ending were good, but the middle...no. I think this would’ve worked better as a short story to be honest.

Yes! Cos I did ...well, sort of like it at the beginning. The rambling, and I understood what he tried to create, but then omg, I got sooo annoyed. It was too much. He was trying too hard, even if it was not a long book it felt way too long.

The rambling was what did it in for me. Yes, the kid is a wiz and smart and 9 - 10. So he is bound to NOT be a writing genius. However, there needs to be a balance. Also, I don’t care how smart a kid is...they are not THAT smart and that perceptive of the world.

It felt like I had no time to breathe. Everything was a mess. The words kept coming at you. Oh and yes however smart he is, come on, his mum just let him do that. I do not care if he had bodyguards with him (which he had not), but his mum should still not have let him out even if he had had that. It was just crazy. A kid walking around NYC for 3 hours to get somewhere and then having to get back.


The mom was a crap parent in my opinion. I even thought that in the movie. I get she’s going through her grieving too, but yeah. And I get she took SOME precautions, but still...maybe give him a drive or something. NYC is not a place for a little kid to be alone roaming about. I grew up in the country and even my mom wouldn’t let me do anything alone, I’d have to go with an adult or a group of other kids. The mom was an idiot in this book.



At that age I would totally have been allowed to go places, little village. Nothing dangerous there. But this was like her sending me alone on the train to our capital, hell no. And our capital is TINY. I do not care how much she is grieving, that kid could have died.

Yessss. So negative points to her. Now...what did you think about the “big twist” with the old dude?

Considering that we never even met him before the twist was revealed, well yes I did not expect it, but it was also kind of anticlimactic. I was all whatever when I learned it, I wish they had shown him before.

Agreed. It was a cool twist, but it could’ve been done better. They did it differently in the movie and it worked WAY better. Another point to the movie. LOL
I do not know how it was done, but I can guess cos I would know a better one. Eh.

I will not spoil it  for you ;) But yes, you’d appreciate it more.

How did you like the flashbacks to the grandparents then?

It was okay..but I felt it took away from the kid’s story which is the main story. Maybe not having that would’ve slimmed down the story and made it easier to read.

I did feel it was unnecessary, who cares if his grandparents met during the war and then came here. Were strange and the kid obvi inherited that from his grandfather. I did not care for it at all. It was the kid’s story, not how his grandparents weren’t always happy...were they ever happy? So...that should have been left out.

Maybe it was a weird foreshadow to the kid’s future. He is going to be a disappointment to his wife and son...and then his son is going to die and he’ll finally come to his senses and come back. LOL. Maybe there is a sequel in the works. I hope not.

You are being really depressing now. What a fun future to look forward too.


Hehehe. But yes...sad bleak book in many ways. I did cry twice...in a way...i wish the story followed the Dad and his journey. I liked him a lot.

His dad’s journey would have been good and omg then I would have CRIED at the end. Now I was not moved at all, and I am pregnant. I cried at the store today when something went wrong.

Hahaha. My tears were because I remembered certain scenes from the movie. TOM HANKS NOOOOOO! *sobs*

Damn it, I wanna see this movie now….is it old? Might be hard to get then. Never seen it on tv either.

It is old-ish. It used to be on Netflix...IDK if it is anymore.hmmmmm. BTW - what did you think about the photos included? I liked them. The last pictures made me tear-eye because I remember that photo and the videos from the actual event. ;(


I did not have any! Omg, I missed out :/

Really??? I feel like it added some sort of clarity to the mad ramblings of the crazy 9 year and the insane grandfather. D:

Damn it. Oh well, you still did not enjoy the book as much as you wanted so I am sure it would have made it better- Maybe it would have stopped some skimming.

It still was not book of the year, but I liked it a hair more than you...only a hair. I think I gave it the same star rating as you though on Goodreads. LOL

And that was me being nice! I could appreciate what he tried to go, but for me it failed big time.

I have to agree. I see what he wanted but it was a bust. Folks...MOVIE was better. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth saying that, but gotta give credit where credit is due.

It is sad when a movie is better but it happens. I do not want to name names, but there are some big ones in there.

For sure! Anything else you can think of?

I was disappointed. I expected a heated debate from this one and it failed to live up to that.

I am bummed.

The end then :/

The sad, sad bitter end. Booo!!!!


About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.







Saturday, April 22

Movie Review: Woman in Gold (2015)


Film Title: Woman in Gold
Length: 1 hr and 49 mins
Released: 2015
Genre: Biography, Drama, & Historical
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Netflix


SUMMARY:
Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.





TRAILER:







REVIEW:
For some reason I really do adore stories that jump around with the past and "present". I love seeing how they tied together. This movie is on of those. It follows Maria in "present day" (the 90s) and Maria in the 1930s-1940s before and after WWII. Maria was part of a wealthy Jewish family in Austria. As we all know, the Nazis come rolling in and start taking things and taking lives. Years later, Maria gets a family friend to sign-up and help her try and get her Aunt's painting that was stolen from her family home. 

This was an interesting watch and I love how this is based on a true story. Poor Maria. She lost everything when she and her husband left Austria. All she wanted was some justice, but of course the Austrian government were aholes and refused to give what was rightfully hers. Jerks. But her and her lawyer friend pushed forward. 

I normally like the jumping around with flashbacks and the like, but I feel like I would've liked this more if it had a more linear story-line. Or have the beginning and end set in the 90s and the middle of the film set in the past. The jumping around didn't flow that well.

The cast was decent. I am a huge fan of Mirren and Reynolds. However, I feel like their performances were not up to par. Mirren's attempt at an Austrian accent fell in and out. She seemed to switch to British and that was annoying. Reynolds seemed to lack his normal zest and emotion. He seemed kinda boring in this role. Maybe that was what he was aiming for? But even during scenes that required a lot of emotion, he seemed flat. The rest of the cast was okay. 

I feel like their were a lot of plot-holes that were ignored at the end especially with the flashbacks. Like...do we know what happened to her parents? What about her husband? What was the bad news her sister had? Lots of questions. I am sure I can look them up (and I have), but c'mon...don't leave loose ends. 

In the end, this was okay. I enjoyed watching it. It made me tear-up and made me feel feelings. However, I felt like they slapped this together and didn't take the extra time to cover the loose ends, make sure Mirren stayed in the right accent, and so forth. It just needed a hair more work. I do recommend it. It is a lovely story of justice. I shall give it 3 stars. 

Re-watch?: Once is good for me.