Sunday, December 31

Carole Awards 2017 featuring Blodeuedd

Welcome back to the Carole Awards! 2017 certainly flew by. I'm honestly in disbelief it is already the end of this year.

This year we are going to shake up the Carole Awards a bit! We have decided to grant some more Carole Awards to more books and movies and even TV shows. WHA??? Yes! We let Blodeuedd pick some winners as well to win this amazing award. So there is double the chance for a book or movie or show to win an award! I can hear all the hope out there. Hahaha. *crickets*

Anyways...shall we begin??

Category 1....TV SHOWS:

Blodeuedd's Pick for BEST TV SHOW OF THE YEAR......Rick and Morty 

Image result for rick and morty

"One you have to binge watch. Freaking hilarious."

My Pick for BEST TV SHOW OF THE YEAR...........Victoria (Season 1)

"A beautiful show with an amazing cast. Worth the watch."

Category 2....MOVIES:
Blodeuedd's pick for BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR............Dunkirk

Image result for Dunkirk

"Dunkirk was such a well made movie"

My pick for BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR..........Murder on the Orient Express

"By far and hand's down the best movie to watch!"

Category 3.............BOOKS:
CUTEST Book covers go to......Love at First Bark  and The Corner of  Forever and Always

BEST covers go to.........Of Flame and Fate and Terminal Alliance 

Blodeuedd's pick for WORST BOOK OF THE YEAR..... Wicked Fantasy by Nicole Jordan

Image result for Wicked Fantasy by Nicole Jordan

My pick for WORST BOOK OF THE YEAR....Love on the Range by Sondra Grey

Blodeuedd's pick for BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR........Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

My pick for BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR.........Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Bonus Category:

And that is the end of the Carole Awards. I am excited to see what 2018 has in store for us!!

Wednesday, December 27

My 2017 Book Journey

Courtesy of Goodreads. Here is a rundown of my 2017 reading journey! This was so cool to look over. If you have Goodreads,  I encourage you to check this out ;D

Tuesday, December 26

Blodeuedd's Tuesday Review: On the Jelicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Taylor Markham is now a senior at the Jellicoe School, and has been made leader of the boarders. She is responsible for keeping the upper hand in the territory wars with the townies, and the cadets who camp on the edge of the school's property over summer. She has to keep her students safe and the territories enforced and to deal with Jonah Griggs – the leader of the cadets and someone she'd rather forget. But what she needs to do, more than anything, is unravel the mystery of her past and find her mother – who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road six years before. The only connection to her past, Hannah, the woman who found her, has now disappeared, too, and the only clue Taylor has about Hannah and her mother's past is a partially written manuscript about a group of five kids from the Jellicoe School, twenty years ago. 

Audiobook, 8 pages
Published May 14th 2010 by Bolinda Audio (first published 2006)
YA fiction
From Sync (love you audiosync!)

My thoughts:
I am feeling meh today, not in a review writing mood.

The start was rocky. It started with this accident. Then we were with Taylor at her school and I kept wondering why it kept jumping back and forth? Then it was explained that she was reading something. Yeah...messy.

So a slow start and it took me some time to get through this audio. It was not that compelling. Kids warring with Cadets and Townies.

Oh and Taylor was messed up! This teen needed family and a hug. And those who could have given her that, grrrr, wtf was wrong with you? Nope Hannah, I would not forgive you! Sure we get explanations at the end but still! Taylor just wanted to know why she was all alone and where her mum was.

But close to the end it did get interesting. I did want to know why Hannah was writing about those kids and where she was and how it all was connected. And I wanted Taylor to find some truth in her life.

I even started crying at one point. And it was a good book all the way through, it just made me angry at the adults and I think reading it would have made the messy start better

Narrator Rebecca Macauley
I did like her accent, since hey AU book gotta have it right. So nothing wrong with her narration


Saturday, December 23

Joint Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Happy December everyone! Happy Holidays!

This month Blodeuedd and I read and discussed "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas. Blodeuedd is in red and I am in green. Don't mind the technical difficulties I had! LOL
Author: Angie Thomas
Title: The Hate U Gives
Genre: YA
Pages: ebook
First Published: Feb 2017 
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon)

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. 

So, what did you think? I did not think it lived up to all its hype. For me it felt like everyone loved it cos it was relevant and cos of its subject. But I felt the story and writing lacked. Sure it was a good book in the end, but at the same time it was that kind of good that did not make me actually read more by the author...if that makes sense. I felt very underwhelmed myself with this. I felt it was SO over-hyped. Yes, it was pretty good. I enjoyed reading and seeing things happen in a different light. But I think it was only popular because it discussed a controversial topic in an interesting light. [Carole goes MIA] CaroleI where are youuuuuuu? Ok I will continue talking to myself then. I just felt that there should have been more emotions, it should have made me feel. But every time then something else happened. A new storyline. Starr thinking of other things. I really wish the focus had been the shooting and only that. For it really to hit you in the chest and making you want to riot. Now I was all, ok, yup, that happened. Damn cop should just confess and said he was a scaredy cat who dropped the ball on that. But of course that would never happen. And he really should work in another area if he is like that, scared of his own shadow. But then hey I would not dare to be a cop, I would have my gun out all the time. Omg, I would totally shoot everyone. Oh look a cat walked by, boom. Ok, I can so not be a cop! Better not even try. Sorry! I disappeared. My computer man. I did feel at the beginning right after the murder. I felt so bad for Starr especially when we learn this isn’t the first person she watch get murdered right in front of her. I do wish that they would’ve just focused on one thing. There was a lot going on all around them with family drama, town drama, gang drama, and the drama of the murder. Just too much emotion and I didn’t cry like I wanted to because I didn’t have time to focus on the one bad thing. I agree...the cop should’ve just been honest and said he made a mistake. That is what bothers me in situations like this. He got scared thought the kid was going for a gun but he wasn’t and killed him. Granted, the kid should’ve stayed still and not opened the car door. You never know if the cop is scared or jumpy and trigger-happy. But cop...just admit you messed up!! [Carole goes MIA again] Omg Carole where are you!!! Ok so we made it clear I should not be a cop. Starr as a character was pretty weak. I did not care much for her. Her at the end...did not see that. But I am glad she finally got some character, and sure I get it, two worlds, she had to grow. But come one, bohoo my boyfriend is white. Seriously? Now all white people are bad? A white cop shot your friend and now you hate your white boyfriend? So if a black cop had shot Khalil, and for the same reason then… Carole!!!!!! I am totally talking to myself here, you can always put in your thoughts after mine, lol. I also felt like it told me at one point that cos black people live where they live they do not get the same chances, true true, but it said then that cos of that then crime is ok. No, just cos you are poor does not mean stealing, selling drugs and shooting people at parties ok. But then if I was poor, and bad at school and saw no other way...nope, would still be on the straight and narrow. I could not do jail. Crime only pays for those higher up. You might live well for a while but you will not make it out. And would not that be the goal, to get out!? COMPUTER!!!! GAH! Starr was an interesting character to watch grow. She was very, very weak. However, I enjoyed seeing it. I enjoyed listening to her internal debate and complex. It did upset how after the situation she was scared of her boyfriend because he was white and so was the cop. Yes, she gets over it, but still….I love the boyfriend though and how he stuck by her in through of all this mess. Showed that he truly loved her. I liked Starr’s parents a lot even though I disagreed with some of the father’s ideas and thinking. Sure he was able to get a fresh start after going to jail from his life of crime. Kuddos to him!! However, it really bothered me that he excused the behavior that crime is okay because it is a step towards becoming a good person and becoming respectable and getting out of that life. Oorrrrrrr not be in that life. Be like Starr’s mom and uncle. Go to school and become a nurse or a detective. [Again...Carole disappears] Carole!!!!! Where art thou? Also all white people suck. I learned that. White people are only tolerated if they like the same things, like Chris, who was a wigga. That makes me sad. Like all black people hate all white people :/ Omg Carole you are here! I’m hereeeee! Holy cannoli. Sorry I keep having issues and leaving you here all alone! Hopefully no other issues arise *looks around scared* So! Yes, I felt so bad for Chris. He loves Starr so much, but he is so judged because he is white. Not fair at all. He is a good guy. I loved Maya too. Hailey needed a kick in the teeth. She was a little BYOTCH. Yes, stop being friends with Hailey! Ugh, Hailey. But I loved how Chris always tried to cheer her, Starr, up, such a sweetie. And she needed a guy like that, normal plain Chris. I loved the Dad’s nicknames for Chris. They made me laugh. I also loved his, “Chris? What kind of boring name is that!” Hahahaha. The Dad was funny. I feel like he was comic relief in a lot of ways. Lol, oh the dad, yes he was not easy on Chris ;) And Chris IS a boring name. Sorry Chris! I also liked how the dad had gotten out of the criminal lifestyle. I would have rather read a book about that. I would love a story about the Dad and the Mom. That would be a good read. I want to see them and see what happened in more detail. I want to understand WHY she stayed with him when she had SO many reasons to leave. He was not a good guy for a long while there. But she stayed and now he is a business owner and is a good guy. Yes, that would be a strong story. She stayed by him and that could not have been easy, but he got out. He changed and they got their kids into a good school so their kids could get out. That would an amazing story. I would read it. Now that could make me cry! Write that! Yes, yes! I don’t want it to be a short story. I would the WHOLE story written down. From when they met to right before Kahlil’s murder. Yes, a good story. While this, eh, could have been better. I’ll admit the first couple of chapters were rough to get through. I feel like the author was trying WAY too hard to get the reader to slide into this world and see from this POV. I get the dialogue sounding legit, but the rest of the paragraph? It was too much. After a while, the author did get better and calmed down a bit. However, like I said earlier, there was too much going on. It was hard to focus on the main story-line. Yes, too much going on, some things could have been left out. I get that she wanted to tell all these stories and tie it together at the end, but it did not add to the story. Maybe those extra stories could’ve been told in other stories. For example, maybe Seven could’ve had his own book going over the drama of his Mom and whatnot. There was a lot going on and I feel it took away from the emotion for me. However, I did enjoy reading all the drama...I’m a sucker for drama like that! LOL A Seven book, a DeVante book, yup I could see that and that would have worked well. Now, too much. Drama is good and all, but it does not make this book the star everyone claims it to be. ANd I thought we would be all over it and instead, hype, total hype, and dunno what everyone see in it when they claim best book of the year. Agreed. All the extra sideline stories took away the main objective of the story. Don’t kill innocent people and that Black Live Matters. That was what the author was going for. It is there, but buried deep at some points of the story. My main takeaway from reading this is...own up to your faults and your mistakes. If the cop had flat-out said that it was an accident and he got scared. Don’t make the victim the enemy. You messed up. Take responsibility for your error. There was no reason for all of this to be prolonged and etc. They never do, they never do :/ And yes that prime objective of the story would have made it powerful, but she tried to tell so many other things too. At least it gave us a good discussion :D Wohooo, since some books we have nothing to say about I will give this book props...there is a lot to discuss. I feel we can go on and on. My only issue with the book was the writing and too many stories going on. Is this book of the year? No. But it was worth a read for sure. It is the perfect book to read in school and discuss. I do feel every school should do just that. So many different things to discuss Yes. I can see this being a book kids in school could read. Granted there are a lot of swear words, but nothing any of those kids hadn’t heard before. Lol swear words, yes, I am sure they have never heard those, but I also know how schools and parents are. But F that. They should still read it and discuss. These things are important and swear words never killed anyone. Guns do. *nods* Yes. I agree full-heartedly. It is interesting and should be read and discussed. S0, anything more to add? Mhmmm there is a lot to discuss, but I feel we went through a lot. One of the longer discussions we had! But overall, I liked the story. It wasn’t amazing. It was good and a must-read especially with what is going on in the world. It is good for the brain to read from other POVs. I would love to see this discussed in schools. I say read it. Yes good, but not amazing, and also a book that should not just be read. You should really talk about it afterwards. A perfect book for group discussions or on a one-on-one basis like us. Anything else? Nope. All good. The end! Until 2018!!! :D Yay.

Friday, December 22

Movie Review: Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Film Title: Murder on the Orient Express
Length: 1 hr and 54 mins
Released: 2017
Genre: Mystery & historical
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Watched at the theater

When a murder occurs on the train he's travelling on, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case.


Let me just say this here and now...this is probably one of the best movies of the year for me. I loved, loved, LOVED this movie. 

I read the book version eons ago. Honestly? I didn't remember a lick of it so it was like I was watching this story unfold for the first time again. I must reread so I can compare and contrast. 

The cast was amazing. Loved them all. They did amazing, especially the Detective. Wonderful, wonderful. If they do not receive an award for this film then I will be in utter shock and mad.

The film started off a little slow, but it had to be that way. There was world-building and character-building that was needed to fully get into the murder mystery. I enjoyed the slow start which usually can be boring, but it was done in a way that I wasn't bored. 

Things happen...we learn about everyone including the victim. There are seeds of clues scattered around that you will miss because you have no idea. Trust me. I am usually good at these mysteries. Maybe I should've been a detective. Maybe my next life. But yes, even the best misses them at first like our beloved Detective. 

WHO DID IT! I cannot say. Will not say. You must watch this film or read the spoiler elsewhere. Just know...I was partially wrong in my final guess. Motive and the killer will leave you in shock. I was speechless for a few minutes but then I racked my brain remembering the beginning of the film and yes...there were clues left. I must re-watch this. I would like this for my collection.  

In the end...this was an amazing film. The cast did awesome. The writers did awesome. This did the author of the book justice. I now must re-read. Watch it. 5 stars. 

Thursday, December 21

Book Review: A Christmas Kind of Perfect by Christine Schimpf

Author: Christine Schimpf
Title: A Christmas Kind of Perfect
Genre: Romance
Pages: ebook
Published: December2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley)

Conrad Hamilton thought his life would be easy. A great job running his own construction business. Living in his hometown in Door County, Wisconsin with Lila Clark by his side. He'd planned to marry her as soon as she returned from her Chicago internship, but it never happened.

Lila never expected to become a successful writer nor did she plan to spend years in New York. But she did.

Can the magic of Christmas turn two hearts back to one another again, or is it too late to capture that special kind of perfect?

Awwwwe what a fun Christmas romance. I can’t help but enjoy romances that are brought together by snow, trees, and food. 

This story follows two characters that had dated for eons, but they broke up because she wanted to go to go to New York and be a writer, but he wanted a quiet life in their hometown with babies and a white picket fence. Years go by and she comes back to town to help her old friend. Drama happens, Christmas spirit is tested, and of course it ends with a HEA. No spoiler there ;D.

Ooooo they were idiots the both of them. I wanted to smack them. Lila…you can be a writer at home…there is no real need to have to move to New York. Conrad….if you really loved Lila you could’ve gone with her. FOOLS! Stubborn, stubborn fools. All this drama and regret and loneliness could’ve been avoided if they just sat down and talked about all the options. BUT then there wouldn’t be a story of course. 

I am glad that Lila and Conrad took FOREVER to realize that they need to be together. They are convinced they can just be friends. Conrad is convinced that he is destined to marry some work-aholic who I am unsure how they lasted SO long…they are complete opposites and want different things. I feel like he was just settling and hoping that things would get better. Super sad indeed. 

Honestly, I want Suzanne to get her own HEA. Sure she was a cold-hearted B the majority of the book, but it turns out she did have a nice side and she does care for Conrad…in her own way. She deserves to be happy. Strange that the author changed the direction of this character! Normally the current lover of one of the main people are demonized and made for you to hate so you don’t feel bad when the main person gives them the boot. This wasn’t the case near the end. At the beginning you feel like you dislike Suzanne, but then she surprises you and you really warm-up to her especially after something she says to Conrad. 

There were some parts I felt were just fillers that were not needed so it slowed the story down. Sure this is not abnormal, but it just felt like fillers and added in last minute. Some parts did not flow as well. Also, there were sometimes the dialogue seemed forced and not natural. No one talks like that. No one. 

Besides for the fillers and occasional unnatural dialogue, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the lovebirds finally getting over their bullheadedness and just working together for their love. A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE indeed. If you like a light, fluffy romance filled with Christmas joy I recommend this one. I’ll give this…3 stars. 

Wednesday, December 20

Book Review: Stone Circle by Kate Murdoch

Author: Kate Murdoch
Title: Stone Circle
Genre: Historical Fiction & Fantasy
Pages: ebook
Published: December 1st 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse?

When Antonius’s father dies, he must work to support his family. He finds employment as a servant in the Palazzo Ducal, home of Conte Valperga. Sixteenth-century Pesaro is a society governed by status, and Antonius has limited opportunities.

When a competition is announced, Antonius seizes his chance. The winner will be apprenticed to the town seer. Antonius shares first place with his employer’s son.

The two men compete for their mentor’s approval. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy grows, so does the rivalry and animosity between them. When the love of a beautiful woman is at stake, Antonius must find a way to follow his heart and navigate his future.

Where shall I start? Hmmmm. I am having a hard time thinking today! All this xmas madness of course. It might have to do with that and the fact I am scared to giveaway any spoilers D: there are so many I want to spill. So I shall try my best. 

So, this story follows two men who have the gift of sight and they become apprentices so they can strengthen their skills. This is a once in a lifetime chance to be taught by the best in the country. The men picked is a peasant and the other a noble’s son. Trouble ensues in many shapes and forms. How did their mentor NOT see that coming picking such men? You don’t have to be a seer to see that this was a bad idea from the start. Alas, it happens and things happen because of jealousy, hatred, and love. 

I felt bad for Antonius because he legit wanted to better himself and his family. This was supposed to be extra money and building on his skills. Snotface McGee, aka Nicola, has to ruin everything because he can’t stand that he has to work side-by-side with a peasant. Get over yourself…you are only there because your mentor is working for your Daddy. Little snot. 

As you can tell I have no love for him. LOL He was a horrible, horrible little man. 
I lost a lot of respect for Guilia she was so shallow for a while there. She got better later on in the book when she learned the error of her ways. It took a while though. 

Yes, there was some romance mixed in all this, but it didn’t take over the story, so I was happy with that. I also really loved the magical element mixed in. It worked well! It wasn’t cheesy or anything…it worked well. 

It took a while for the story to warm-up, but after a few chapters I was absolutely hooked and read this within a couple sittings. I had to know what was going to happen. Well, I knew what was going to happen, but I had no idea how the author was going to get us there and so I was curious and anxious to find out. 

The ending…sighs…I’m glad I got partially what I wanted, but no. No. He needs more of a punishment. I was not okay with one character’s fate. I will not say more because I feel a spoiler about to come out. 

Overall, this was pretty good. I was frustrated with the fate of a character and it took a bit to get hooked, but when I did get hooked I was hooked like a warm on the fishing pool. I had to keep reading even when it was WAY past my bedtime.  If you like a little magic, drama, and romance all in one…this is for you. I’ll stamp this with 4 stars.