Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

City of Fallen Angels – Book Review

cofa

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Series: The Mortal Instruments #4

Goodreads ⊥ Amazon

4 stars

 

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The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

 

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With every one of these reviews I write, there is less and less I can say without spoiling the ones before it. So, I am just forewarning you now, if you haven’t read this yet, I advise caution… there may be spoilers.

This is the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series but (if you’ve read this series then you know what I mean) it is more like the first book in the second trilogy. So, this was almost like reading the first book in a series all over again. However, the emotional attachment I already had to the characters had me drawn into the story from the very beginning.

At the beginning of the book, there is this time of peace after the war. There is a slow build toward the action in this installment but once it hits, it takes you on a wild ride. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series goes and how the actual last book ends.

We get to see more of Simon and Isabelle and Alec and Magnus in this book. We also get to see them all have their first lovers’ spat. I love how real Cassandra Clare makes her characters’ relationships feel. I swear, if anything happens to any of my babies’ relationships I will have a complete emotional breakdown.

QUESTION: What is you favorite book in this series? As I haven’t read them all I can’t really answer this question myself, but out of the ones I have read so far, the third is definitely my favorite.

 

In Conclusion…

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Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

Stalking Jack the Ripper – Book Review

ripper

Genre: YA Historical/Mystery/Retelling

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1

 Goodreads ⊥ Amazon

3 stars

 

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Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

 

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I have a love/hate relationship with this book. As a book in general, it’s not that bad. However, it was not at all what I expected.

When you hear the title, what do you think? My immediate instinct was that it was going to be about a girl who is obsessed with Jack the Ripper and follows his around, copies his crimes, or tries to kill him. (If this is also what you thought, then I am sorry to burst your bubble.) So, when I actually read the book and it was nothing at all even close to what I thought, I was more than a little disappointed.

However, when I managed to get past that initial disappointment, I ended up enjoying the story for what it actually was. While it didn’t make my favorites list, it was a fun and interesting read and I plan to continue with the series in the future.

The book lost a star for me when it got to the big plot twist towards the end. I don’t usually guest plot twists, even if they are obvious. I don’t try to guess them ahead of time because it makes them more fun that way. However, with this plot twist, I didn’t even have to think about it. The identity of Jack the Ripper was so obvious to me, I figured it out about a fourth of the way into the book. I really wanted to slap some sense into the main character for how dumb she was.

I also listened to this as an audiobook and the narrator was one of the best I have heard. She did a good job giving each character a different voice. She was also very clear and easy to understand. I highly recommend it.

In Conclusion…

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…I just wanted something more.

Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

Six of Crows Duology – Book Review

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Six of Crows Duology

Goodreads ⊥ Amazon

4.5 stars

 

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Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

 

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If you want a book with an amazingly diverse cast of characters, a complicated, action-packed adventure, and filled with emotional turmoil, then this is the book for you.

I actually have a funny story about reading these (well it might not be funny but its definitely a story…) When I first read Six of Crows, I didn’t like it. I was really disappointed because there was so much hype and it was the type of book that I am normally really invested in. However, now… two years later… I decided to give it another try, this time as a audiobook. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!!!!!

What do you think is the best thing about these books? That’s a really hard question to answer. While the plot of the story is absolutely amazing and the action and adventure is some of the best I have ever read, I honestly don’t think it would be half as good without the characters.

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I highly recommend going into this series with as little information as possible because it makes the story that much more exciting. So, I am going to leave my review there. If you haven’t already read these books… what are you even doing here? Trust me, you won’t regret it.

If you enjoy audiobooks, I highly praise them. They have a different person voice each character and they are all done really well. I listened to them back to back… and honestly… I wish it didn’t have to end.

Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

Lady of Devices – Book Review

lady

Genre: YA Historical Steampunk

Series: Magnificent Devices #1

Goodreads ⊥ Amazon

2.5 stars

 

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London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world. At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices . . . When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . if they can both stay alive long enough to see that sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .

 

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This was my first time trying anything historical steampunk and I found it interesting but not something that I will be specifically searching for in the future.

There isn’t really much I can say about this book because there wasn’t a lot that happened in the story. This book was very much character driven as the plot was nearly non-existent. What I thought was the story finally starting to pick up, was actually the climax towards the end. I would describe this book as a really long prequel that could have been all summed up in one chapter, or even as short flashbacks as the actual story progressed.

However, it was thanks to the characters that I was able to make it through the entire book without giving up on it. The characters were a lot of fun and went through quite a bit of development considering how little happened.

Overall, if you enjoy historical steampunk and character driven stories, then give this one a try. However, if you rely on the plot of a book to really enjoy it, then this one is probably not for you.

Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Book vs Movie Review

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Series: Harry Potter Book #2
Goodreads ♦ Amazon
5 stars

 

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The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone, or something, starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?

 

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While this definitely isn’t my favorite of the series, I still rated it 5 stars. That’s got to tell you something. This is the book that’s movie most closely corresponds with it. There are very few differences so this post won’t be too long, but I will point out the ones that stood out the most to me.

Characters…

This is the book that introduces one of my favorite characters of all time… Dobby. Who doesn’t absolutely love Dobby? If anyone says differently, they are lying without a doubt. Dobby is the most adorable, loyal, overenthusiastic, house elf of them all. I love how much he wants to protect Harry but at the same time he punishes himself for disobeying his master. If you think about it, Lucius Malfoy would not necessarily have any knowledge of Dobby contacting Harry, so Dobby punishing himself is unnecessary and show how loyal he is as a house elf.

When we first meet Dobby he appears in Harry’s bedroom in order to persuade him not to return to Hogwarts. This is one of the more hilarious parts in the movie. Especially when Dobby threatens to drop a cake of his Uncle’s dinner guest. In the book Dobby just drops it on the floor in the kitchen. I didn’t think of this at first but it was interesting how Dobby just knew that making a scene with Harry’s aunt and uncle would help prevent him from returning to school.

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Conversely, the last time we see Dobby he is in Dumbledore’s office with Lucius Malfoy. This is one of the few differences that I actually like how it happened in the movie. I think the movie actually portrayed the scene better as well because we were able to see Dobby’s reaction. In the book, Harry placed his sock on top of the diary before handing it to Lucius who, in disgust, threw the sock aside and Dobby caught it. While in the movie, Harry hid the sock in the diary before handing it to Lucius who gave it to Dobby. Then Harry signaled Dobby to open the diary and he found the sock. We were able to cleary see the surprise and excitement on Dobby’s face. It actually made me cry a few times.

For the most part, Dobby is really the only new character. We also met/learned about Lucius Malfoy but he isn’t really a major player yet. Ginny Weasley also becomes a major player in this book. She is entering her first year at Hogwarts and I loved her shyness around Harry, it was really humorous at times.

Plot…

One of the scenes I would have loved to see in the movie is when Harry is rescued from the Dursley’s by Ron, Fred, and George. They are at the burrow and they have to clear the gnomes from the yard. This would have been a really fun scene to watch. Harry, Ron, Fred, and George picking up the little struggling gnomes and spinning them around above their heads before throwing them over the fence. Can you just imagine what that would look like in the movie? I can’t get over it. Also, when they play Quidditch at the burrow. It describes Ron flying on his old broom being outstripped by butterflies. This wasn’t in the movie either but the whole time I’m reading I’m imagining Ron leaning forward on his broom trying to get his broom to go faster and here comes a butterfly leisurely flying past Ron. Can you picture Ron’s face as he watches this butterfly zoom past him?

Lockhart!! I almost forgot about him. Well not necessarily but I forgot to add him to the new characters list. Gilderoy Lockhart is the most idiotic character throughout the entire series. I mean really, if you are actually a fraud and you know it, why would you constantly try doing things that you know will end in failure? For example, he knew he wouldn’t be able to heal Harry’s arm, so why, when given an out by Harry asking him not to, would he do it anyway? I mean seriously.

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Also, Lockhart’s constant bragging and chastising Harry that he wasn’t famous enough and he shouldn’t be autographing yet. Lockhart was way too full of himself. But that’s why he is such a popular character. There was this one scene in Lockhart’s class where he made Harry act out being a wereworlf and it would have been absolutely hilarious to see that in a movie. Little Daniel Radcliffe howling like a wolf in front of an entire class.

Why was the deathday party not in the movie? I guess it’s possible that it would have been a lot of work making all the ghosts. That also makes me remember something else. The Bloody Baron. I mentioned in my last review how I wish Peeves had been in the movies, but also the Bloody Baron was no where near being like his character in the books. In the books he was supposed to be covered in blood and be super creepy and quiet. He was the only one that Peeves was afraid of and would actually listen to. In the movies the Bloody Baron is more of a funny character. I didn’t really like this change.

I can’t really think of any other differences. Oh wait! I remembered one, the scene with the basilisk was a lot more drawn out and dramatic in the movie. I actually liked it better in the movie than in the book. The books were more interested in the conversation with Tom Riddle and the ‘battle’ with the basilisk was over much more quickly. Also, this is really small, but Fawkes healed Harry’s arm while Tom was still standing right there and before Ginny woke up. Tom Riddle was like “I forgot, Phoenixes are special.” (Or something like that.)

Discussion Question: Why was Harry, Ron, and Hermione able to find and open the chamber of secrets in less than one school year when Dumbledore, one of the greatest wizards of all time couldn’t find or open it in over 50 years? 

My theories… Harry could hear the basilisk and Dumbledore couldn’t. Dumbledore did know where the chamber was but chose to let Harry figure it out for himself to sort of test him or let him get a feel for future horrible things to come.

Discussion Question 2: Why was the polyjuice potion the only plan Hermione could come up with? I mean seriously, Harry has an invisibility cloak. Think about it. 

In Conclusion… 

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…A Wild Ride

Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

Book Review – Six of Crows

crows

Goodreads ♦ Amazon ♦ Book Depository

4.5 stars

 

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Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

 

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This was actually my second read of this book and I am so glad I decided to give it another try. My first read of this book was at the height of its release and everyone was raving about it and how amazing it was and that everyone should read it. At the time I wasn’t necessarily dying to read it. It was more like I felt I needed to read it because of how popular it was. As you can guess, I was pretty disappointed. This time I was more in the mood for it and I decided to give the audiobook a try and I do not regret it.

Characters…

The characters are the best part of this book.

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The Thief

Kaz Brekker is one of the best morally gray characters I have ever read. I absolutely loved his thirst for revenge and his loyalty to his crew (even if he doesn’t show it at times). He’s one of those characters that you aren’t sure if you should trust but at the same time you can’t help but trust him anyway. He is so smart and brutal and will do whatever it takes to get the job done and get his crew out alive. “No mourners, no funerals.” Not to mention, he expects absolute loyalty as well, a few side characters know what that’s like.

The Spy

Inej… oh Inej. How I would just love to meet you and talk about your life. All she wants is to be able to pay off her indenture and be free. I loved that Kaz didn’t force her to get the tattoos of his gang. Anyway, back to Inej. Like I said, she just wants to be free and go find her family. But she also wants to be with Kaz. But she won’t settle for just his feelings/mind, she wants his everything. She wants him to be all in. I just can’t get over their relationship. She is the only one who might know the real him and that terrifies them both. I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops in the conclusion.

The Sharpshooter

Jesper is just the sweetest, gun crazy, gambling addicted, loyal idiot, character. I absolutely loved him and his witty banter. I don’t know what else I can say to persuade you over to my side, if you aren’t already there. His friendship with Wylan is so hilarious and something that you wouldn’t expect at first but they actually make a really good team. I can’t wait to read what happens with them in the next book, especially after that ending… You know what I’m talking about.

The Runaway

That brings us to Wylan. I love Wylan and honestly he might be my favorite of the crew. All he wants to somewhere to fit in and he wants to prove he is worthy of being on Kaz’s crew. I was so sad when it explained why Wylan ran away from home and why he believes his dad doesn’t care about him. That ending was just so great. I loved how he finally got affirmation about how his dad really feels about him. I love his banter with Jesper especially. I could just go on and on about him and Jesper. Every time Wylan said something criminal or ‘not normal,’ Jesper would comment how they were corrupting him or that he needed better friends.

The Heartrender

This brings us to the last pair of characters. Nina is a grisha, this means she has special abilities. (This is what makes this a fantasy). She can control parts of the human body and bodily functions with just a wave of her hand. She can also alter parts of the body and heal injuries within reason. In the past Nina made a claim that caused Matthias to be arrested and he has been in one of the worst prisons ever since. According to her she has been trying to get him out but has yet to succeed at the start of the book. You can feel her guilt throughout the book but also her anger and love which can be an odd combination at times.

The Convict

Finally we have Matthias. Like I said, he has been in prison for a few years at the start of this book. He was betrayed by the girl he loved and all he wants is to be able to kill her. This girl is Nina. Throughout the majority of this book, Matthias is immensely angry and constantly has thoughts about killing Nina or Kaz and betraying the crew when they get to their destination. It isn’t until two-thirds of the way through that Nina and Matthias come to an agreement that they will work together, at least for the time being. I really hope their relationship is able to grow in the final book. I can’t wait to see what happens.

 

Plot… 

This book is very character driven and it is full of action and twists and turns so I really don’t want to say very much about the plot because anything could be a spoiler. I guess I will just give you the very basics. Kaz Brekker gets presented with the opportunity to earn thirty million kruga (money) by infiltrating the most heavily guarded prison in the world (I think). He puts together his crew (the characters from above) and they proceed to their heist. There is just so much action and cleverly devised plans that you never know what’s going to happen next. I highly recommend going into this book not knowing anything more than this.

In Conclusion… 

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Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

Stay After Class – Book Review

class
Title: Stay After Class
Author: A.C. Rose
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Goodreads  Amazon
3.5 stars

I received this from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own opinions. 

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Amanda Slade is a virgin and she’s on a mission to change that by her twenty-second birthday.

After waiting more than twenty-one years to find the right person to do the deed, she’s sure her sexy professor is the one.

Professor Jem Nichols is a rising star in New York’s art world. He’s gorgeous and a grown-up and … totally out of her league. She has to find a way to get him to notice her.

Then one day he asks her to stay after class. And things begin to percolate.

The professor has a lot on his plate preparing for a major art exhibition and he should not allow himself to fall for the virgin student who has captivated his imagination. But as much as he tries to resist the intoxicating and inexperienced Ms. Slade, he cannot say goodbye at the end of the semester.

He’s painfully aware of the university rules, and touching her could be his undoing, but something about her makes him want to break the rules. He has to find a way to protect her.

He refuses to hastily take her virtue. Instead, he insists on taking her on a journey and teaching her the most important lessons of lovemaking.

By the time they’re done, he’ll know every inch of her flesh. But with the pressure of his gallery opening happening the same night she’s due to lose her virginity, will he be the one to take her all the way?

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I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a lot of fun with some steamy scenes thrown in. It was a fairly short read so the characters weren’t overly developed and the story was simple but it was definitely an enjoyable read.

The story starts with Amanda Slade joining a app that tracks the loss of her virginity. For some reason she feels that if she doesn’t lose her virginity by her 23rd birthday she will be alone for the rest of her life. This never really made sense to me but it was what got the story started and played a pretty big part in the end.

Professor Jem Nichols was someone I wish I had had as a Professor when I was in college. He was steamy hot and very dedicated to showing Amanda what a real romance is supposed to be. Jem wanted their relationship to be real and not get any bad backlash from others so he insisted they start their relationship after the end of the semester, that way he would no longer be her teacher. Then when they finally started officially seeing each other, he didn’t want to be one of those people that just immediately jumped on a girl because she was available and a virgin. I think more guys should be like that.

Overall, the story was a lot of fun. While sex played a large role in the story, their growing relationship was the main plot. The ending was super steamy and sexy. I recommend this to anyone who loves erotic romance with a little more meaning thrown in.

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Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

Forever Bound – Book Review

bound
Title: Forever Bound
Author: Chloe Stowe
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance
Series: Forever Bound #1
Goodreads ♦ Amazon
2.5 stars

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own opinions.

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When a soldier and a surgeon explore their darkest fantasies, they find that submission can be a gift of the heart…

Aaron Chambers is an Air Force pilot and a consummate soldier. He is strong and always in control.

John Castle is a surgeon; his intelligence is daunting, as is his success. But when a twist of fate causes John to lose a patient, he finds himself mired in a downward spiral of doubt and loss of control.

Aaron’s rescue plan is simple… to give his soldier’s will and body for one night to John.

But hatred-filled eyes watch master and willing slave play, and riddle more than their playground with bullets.

It is a fight for survival. It is a fight for love. It is a fight that leaves John and Aaron forever bound to each other…

 

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This book was not at all what I expected it to be and that’s probably the main reason my review is so low. I expected an erotic smutty romance but I got mostly a story about the meeting between the doctor and pilot. Sex itself was really put on the back-burner, which is not want I want in a book that is marketed as an erotic romance.

Characters… 

The characters felt very one-dimensional. I wasn’t able to connect with them on any emotional level. I really wanted to feel for them and their situations but I found myself not really caring.

Their relationship with each other was interesting. Their meeting and the story of how they came to care about each other was different and as a story by itself I would have liked to learn more and dig a little deeper.

Plot… 

I know I am being really knit-picky about this book but it really isn’t a bad book. If what you want is a story where a doctor meets a pilot who gets shot and they get caught in a tornado and all these crazy things happen that pushes them together then this is the book for you. However, if what you want is just a mindless hot and steamy erotic romance then you might be a little disappointed.

I would recommend that the synopsis be changed to better reflect the story.

Overall, I became bored throughout the story and have forgotten a lot about what I read. I just remember not enjoying it very much and wishing it had more sex.

Conclusion… 

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Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

The Photographer’s Assistant – Book Review

photo

Title: The Photographer’s Assistant
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance
Series: Standalone
Goodreads ♦ Amazon
3.5 stars

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own opinions.

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Christian Coulliet is the premier gay erotic photographer in the country. His pictures are spectacular because he will go to whatever length he needs to get the photographs he wants, including having sex with his models. He’s famous for capturing images of his models at the absolute height of passion.

David Weatherby is Christian’s assistant, organized and efficient. He considers himself plain and ordinary, unlike the models Christian works with. David’s also attracted to Christian in a big way, but has seen Christian brush off so many men, and he doesn’t want to be another notch on Christian’s photographic bedpost. Besides, Christian wouldn’t notice someone as plain as him anyway.

What David doesn’t realize is that Christian has noticed and watches, but stays away because David works for him, and because he feels that David deserves someone better. With both men reluctant for various reasons to voice or act on their feelings, will they ever be within the same frame?

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Christian is a famous erotic photographer who will do anything to get the picture, even have sex with his models. David is an aspiring photographer working as Christian’s assistant. He also happens to be in love with him.

Characters…

The Photographer’s Assistant is a fairly short read and therefore struggles with having depth in the characters. However, with the short amount of time I had, I was able to emotionally connected to these characters.

Christian seems really withdrawn at first. I think you would have to be in order to have sex with any number of people just to get a good picture while being able to separate himself afterward. His one rule for himself was that he would have have a relationship, sexual or otherwise, with the people he worked with. I wonder how that turned out? By the end Christian seems to develop emotions, or at the very least he is able to express the emotions he already has. So much so, that they start interfering with his work.

David was precious. All he wants is for Christian to notice him as someone other than an assistant. He would literally do anything for Christian. I really liked how when he felt that Christian just used him for sex he didn’t just roll up into a corner and cry. He set limits for himself and Christian and decided he wasn’t going to let it get in the way of who he wanted to be and what he wanted to do with his life. David’s relationship with his roommate and best friend Javier is the best. I loved it when Javier confronted Christian and gave him a reality check. It was great.

Plot…

There wasn’t really much plot in this book. It only had three real locations. The studio/Christian’s apartment, David’s apartment, and the park. The story consisted of Christian working, David going to the park to take pictures, David talking with Javier in their apartment, and of course David and Christian’s ‘relationship’ in his apartment. However, with so few locations and being so short the author does a really good job of creating a story that pulled me in.

Ending… 

The only thing I can say about the ending was that it was predictable. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable, however. I loved this book and I will pick up more by this author in the future.

Conclusion… 

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Posted in Reading and Writing, Reviews

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Book vs. Movie Review

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Series: Harry Potter Book 1
Goodreads ♦ Amazon
5 stars

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Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

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I honestly don’t know what I can say about Harry Potter that everyone else in the world doesn’t already know… but I will give it a shot. In case I need to say it, this review will contain an abundance of spoilers!!! But if this bothers you it probably means you haven’t yet read this book, in which case… what are you doing with your life?!?!

Did anyone else notice that the line actually is… “Harry, you’re a wizard.” Anyone?

Characters… 

The cast of Harry Potter is one of the greatest casts I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Question: What is your favorite character? I think that mine changes based on whether I am reading the books or watching the movies.

While I was reading this, my favorite character was Neville. I don’t know if anyone else noticed but Neville was a more prominent character in the book than in the movie. For example, when they get detention with Hagrid in the Forbidden Forest, Neville was with them in the book. Neville knew about Malfoy trying to get Harry and Hermione caught when they were taking Norbert up to the tower. Ron had been bitten by Norbert and was in the infirmary so he didn’t get detention with the rest of them. Neville and Malfoy were assigned to stay together first but when Malfoy scared Neville enough to make him shoot up sparks, Hagrid separated them and put Malfoy with Harry. Also, Neville was with Ron and Harry when they first snuck down to see Hagrid and his dragon egg instead of Hermione. Also, Ron tells Neville that he shouldn’t let Malfoy pick on him because he was worth 12 of Malfoy and during the Quidditch match, Neville tells Malfoy this and they all get in a fight. Neville just played a more important role in the book and it made me fall in love with him more. These are just a few examples.

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Another character that is different in the book is Hermione. She is much more annoying in the book, at least at the beginning. I can really understand why Harry and Ron didn’t like her at first. The movie doesn’t show how much of a show off, know-it-all, nagging, brat she is. In the book she is standing just around every corner to tell them what they are doing wrong or how they are breaking the rules, etc. Honestly if it was me, I would probably tell her to mind her own business a time or two myself. It wasn’t until after the troll scene that they really started to get along.

Those were really the main differences between the characters in the movie vs. the book. Most everyone else was pretty true to how they were written.

Oh yeah! Another thing I would have liked to see more of were Dumbledore’s little one liners. In the book, at the beginning Dumbledore asks Professor McGonagall if she would like a lemon drop and that it is a Muggle candy he has become quite fond of. Another is when Harry asks him what he sees in the Mirror of Erised. He responds with a pare of thick woolen socks. He didn’t get a single pair for Christmas because everyone assumes he prefers books. He’s got a few of these that I found way too funny.

Plot… 

For the most part, the major points in the book where played true in the movie, it was just little things here and there that were different. For example, Neville being replaced by Ron or Hermione in certain scenes. I would have loved to see Neville get into a fight with Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle.

I also would have loved to see the beginning of the movie be a little more drawn out like the book. I have the special edition dvd’s with the deleted scenes and I would have loved for them to include Aunt Petunia opening eggs and finding letters inside. I also would have loved to see Harry meet Malfoy in Diagon Alley when they are getting fitted for robes. That scene in the book really showed Malfoy’s hatred for Muggles.

Lastly, I would have loved to see Hermione shine in Snape’s potion challenge in the book. However, I do realize it wouldn’t have made for super exciting screen-time. Ron got his time to shine with the chess game and Harry got his time to shine… well with the entire rest of the movie.

Question: What is your favorite scene in the book/movie? Mine was probably the chess game. It was so action packed. I really liked how they did it in the movie, it was really intense. However, there were some aspects from the book that would have also been pretty awesome. In the book, Ron was not riding on a horse and when he sacrificed himself, the Queen knocked him out but hitting him on the head then shoved him off the board. Also, when Harry checkmated the King, he took off his crown and threw it down in front of Harry. I think that would have been humorous. The one thing that did didn’t quite make sense in the movie was that when they made it to the chess board, the spots the trio took were already empty. That wouldn’t make sense unless you had to have at least two people there to play the game… right? In the book the pieces that were already on the board left so the trio could take their place. But semantics.

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That reminds me of something I thought was really funny in the book that happened differently in the movie. When they get caught in the Devil’s Snare, Hermione realizes what it is and jumps out of it’s hold before it can grab her. The poem she uses to figure out how to beat it is also different but whatever. She realizes she needs fire and…         Harry says, “So light a fire!”
“Yes — of course — but there’s no wood!” Hermione cried, wringing her hands.
“HAVE YOU GONE MAD?” Ron bellowed. “ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?”
“Oh right?” said Hermione.
(After they escape.)
“Lucky you pay attention in Herbology, Hermione.” said Harry.
“Yeah,” said Ron, “and lucky Harry doesn’t lose his head in a crisis — ‘there’s no wood’ — honestly.”

Lastly, for real this time, I really wanted to hear the Hogwarts song at the beginning of the book. Fred and George’s (I mean Gred and Forge) funeral march version would have been hilarious.

Ending… 

The endings of the Harry Potter books always make me sad, especially when we know that Harry has to go back to the Dursley’s. In the movie, Hagrid tells Harry to threaten his cousin with ears to match his tale and Harry reminds Hagrid that they are not allowed to use magic outside of school. Hagrid tells him that his cousin doesn’t know that. It gives Harry a more innocent light. While the book shows Harry’s mischievous side. In the book Harry tells Ron and Hermione that he plans on having a better summer because the Dursely’s don’t know that he isn’t allowed to use magic.

Conclusion… 

These are just a few of the differences that really stuck out to me and some of the things I would have loved to have seen in the movie. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the move, on the contrary, I absolutely love the Harry Potter movies. I could watch them over and over and over again. The differences just really stood out to me during the re-read/watch and I couldn’t help but talk about them to someone.

Question: What is the difference that stood out to you the most? What would you have liked to have seen in the movie? 

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