Category: Sunday Meme

Short Story Sunday: The Scientist by Andrés Cruciani

Short Story Sunday is back! This is where I review a short story/novella. I love short stories (as long as they are well written) but I don’t think they get enough attention. The reviews for short stories can be difficult to write because of the ‘shortness’ and not wanting to give anything away!

Today’s short story is The Scientist by Andrés Cruciani:

Author: Andrés Cruciani
Published: January 1, 2019
9 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: March 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Short Story Description:

The Scientist is the tale of a woman who believes one must suffer to achieve greatness.

Jessica’s Review:

If you want a dark and disturbing short story that is under 10 pages, then The Scientist is for you. From the beginning Cruciani pulls us into the scientist’s life.  She is determined at all costs to become a great scientist and for that to happen she must be miserable, as all scientists need great misery in their lives. She goes to the utmost extremes to become miserable.

The descriptions are crystal clear.  I could picture our scientist as she was doing what she did throughout the story. You will wonder how far our scientist will go to become miserable so she can therefore become great…  Then you read it! 

Special thanks to the author Andrés Cruciani for sending me a copy to read and review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

 After graduating from Cornell, Andrés Cruciani earned a Master’s in Education from Brooklyn College and an MFA from The New School. He has been a teacher for 15 years and has taught writing at FIT and the Hispanic Center for Excellence at Albert Einstein College among other places. Andrés has had numerous pieces nominated for awards and published in The Westchester Review, Pamplemousse, Green Mountains Review, and Welter among other magazines. He served as editor for LIT magazine and is the current senior editor of Brooklyn Aikikai Journal. He recently founded Toho Publishing. When not writing, Andrés trains in Aikido. You can learn more about him at andrescruciani.com.

Sunday Series Review: The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

Today Kim is reviewing The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. She enjoyed this series!

Books in the Series:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
The Evolution of Mara Dyer
The Retribution of Mara Dyer


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Published: September 11, 2011
456 Pages

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Published:
October 23, 2012
545 Pages

Mara Dyer knows she isn’t crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she’s not unstable and doesn’t need to be hospitalised isn’t easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability…before anyone else ends up dead!

The Retribution of Mara Dyer
Published: November 4, 2014
470 Pages

Mara Dyer wants to believe there’s more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.


Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4 Stars

Kim’s Review:

I have been wanting to read this trilogy for years, and finally, I got the whole series for Christmas! I couldn’t wait any longer, so I read Mara Dyer as soon as 2019 hit. I mostly enjoyed this trilogy. It wasn’t so much creepy as it was intense. I found myself sympathizing with Mara, she had to go thru some pretty horrible stuff, and overall, I was impressed with how she handled everything. There were a couple of typical idiot teenager things, but those didn’t bother me. I am constantly astounded by how dumb teens think adults are . . . HA! A majority of the time, if teens would just go to their parents, the problems would be solved!

To be fair, not all of Mara’s problems were that simple, so I let her off the hook! I really loved Noah, but even he fell into that “oh I love you and I’ll always love you” thing that teens are famous for. He was a strong character and he showed a lot of maturity and helped Dara out quite a bit. The story absolutely wouldn’t have been the same without him. Jamie was easily my favorite character of the whole series! He cracked me up and without him, the story wouldn’t have worked! He brought a realistic and even skeptical perspective that made everything more believable.

Unfortunately, I cannot give 5 stars to the series. The first two books got 5 stars each, but Retribution only got three. The ending was so anticlimactic! There were loose strings that were never addressed and almost no closure. I was really disappointed! The journey was far better than the destination. And this series had everything going for it! The pacing was perfect! The story just flowed from one book to another. But the ending ruined it . . . so sad! I would definitely save this series for older teens; some mature elements. But would recommend this series to anyone looking for an intense, psychological read, just skip the ending! 😀

Purchase Links:
The Mara Dyer Trilogy
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Sunday Series Review: The Burning Companion Series by Danielle Rollins

The Sunday Series Review is back and today Kim reviews the Burning companion series by Danielle Rollins.  She really enjoyed this series!

Books in the Series:
Burning
Breaking


Burning
Published: April 5, 2016
352 Pages

After three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just a few months shy of release, and she’ll finally be free from the hole that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Then Jessica arrives. Only ten years old and under the highest security possible, this girl has to be dangerous, even if no one knows what she did to land in juvie. As strange things begin happening to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl’s arrival, it becomes clear that Brunesfield is no longer safe. They must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves when the world has forgotten them?

Breaking
Published:
June 6, 2017
352 Pages

Monsters lurk where you least expect…

Charlotte has always felt ordinary compared to her two best friends at the prestigious Weston Preparatory Institute. Not enigmatic and daring like Ariel or beautiful and brilliant like Devon, Charlotte has never quite met the standards of the school—or those of her demanding mother. But with Ariel and Devon by her side, none of that mattered. They became the family she never had.

Until the unthinkable happens—Ariel commits suicide. And less than a month later, so does Devon.

Everyone accepts the suicides as tragic coincidences, but Charlotte refuses to believe that. And when she finds mysterious clues left behind by Ariel, Charlotte is thrust down a path that leads to a dangerous secret about Weston Prep. There’s a reason Weston students are so exceptional, and the people responsible are willing to kill to protect the truth…


Kim’s Rating of the Series: 5 Stars

Kim’s Review:

I love this series so much . . . and she hasn’t written another book yet! I read Burning about 2 years ago and loved it. This year, I got Breaking for Christmas, so I read both books very quickly and loved them even more. I messaged Danielle Rollins to ask about a third book coming out and she said that nothing is currently in the works! I’ll never survive this. Thankfully, the way she said it sounded like there could possibly be a third book in the future, so I’m holding on to hope with both hands….

The thing that attracted me to Burning was the Brunesfield Correctional Facility . . . y’all know how much I love facilities!! The atmosphere was creepy without being downright scary. I actually really liked Angela, her tenacity and maturity were refreshing. Even the other girls in the facility were on the more mature side of things, being in prison and all. I fell in love with Ben so hard! This is why I need a third book, I need to see what happens!!!!!!!

Burning held me to the last page. I enjoyed Breaking because at first, I didn’t see any connection between the two books. But the more I read, the more details came out and I liked piecing the story together. I don’t really want to say too much because:

  1. I need the story resolved and since the series isn’t finished, I feel like my head is going to explode!!
  2. I don’t want to spoil anything.

This is an awesome series and I would absolutely recommend it to older teens who want to get into reading. Adults would really enjoy this series as well . . . though, hopefully if we’re all bitter loudly enough, maybe they’ll publish a third book!!


Purchase Links:

Burning
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Breaking
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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