Author: Claudia Lux
Published: October 25, 2022
Audiobook: 10 hours 28 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: December 14-20, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Peyote Trip has a pretty good gig in the deals department on the fifth floor of Hell. Sure, none of the pens work, the coffee machine has been out of order for a century, and the only drink on offer is Jägermeister, but Pey has a plan—and all he needs is one last member of the Harrison family to sell their soul.
When the Harrisons retreat to the family lake house for the summer, with their daughter Mickey’s precocious new friend, Ruth, in tow, the opportunity Pey has waited a millennium for might finally be in his grasp. And with the help of his charismatic coworker Calamity, he sets a plan in motion.
But things aren’t always as they seem, on Earth or in Hell. And as old secrets and new dangers scrape away at the Harrisons’ shiny surface, revealing the darkness beneath, everyone must face the consequences of their choices.
Sign Here did not work for me at all. It has an interesting premise, but that was it. There are two storylines in this novel that are separate from each other until they very eventually come together. We have Peyote who is in the 5th level of Hell and trying to get his promotion. And then he has to work with Cal. Then we have the Harrison family who are going to their summer house for vacation. So we have Hell and Earth stories. The very end of the novel made me go: Whoa!
I listened to the audiobook and both narrators did a good job with what they had. I would give Lux another chance to see if she is an author for me or not. This was her debut novel.
Sign Here does show the reader to not just sign a contract: Really read it and even read between the lines! Especially if a dealmaker and an eternity in Hell is involved.
Once Upon a Book Club is a monthly subscription box service that offers YA and adults boxes and very soon will be offering a middle grades box. Each month, subscribers receive a newly released novel and wrapped gifts labeled with page numbers. As they read the featured book, they are prompted to only open the gifts when they reach the specified page number. **Please note that I am not a subscriber and have bought three boxes with my own money, including this 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas that my review today will be about. This is not a sponsored post with the company.**
Once Upon a Book Club’s 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas
Series: Volume IV
Published: December 1, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 12-27, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Volume 4 of The 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas features twelve, exclusive short stories from twelve authors who curated their stories around a specific wrapped gift that readers were meant to open as they read.
This was the 2021 version though I read it in 2022. That is because there were shipping issues that Once Upon A Book Club (OUABC) experienced. So yes, I held onto this box for a whole year! It is a book of 12 short stories, and at a certain point in the story you open your daily gift. The gift enhances the story and it was a fun experience!
The short stories are not Christmas related, but most were book related or dealt with some kind of death and grief. I really enjoyed days 2,3, 6, and 10. Day 7 was my ultimate favorite story because like one character, I am a blogger! I feel that the Day 6 short story should have actually been day 7 because the number 7 was consistent throughout the story. OUABC missed out on that opportunity.
The gifts were fun to get to and open each day. They range from books to curtains to more. Some of the gifts I will use and the others I will have to figure out.
I highly recommend giving OUABC ‘advent box’ a chance if you have the time for daily reads and the money for the box when it becomes available. You would want to act fast as this box tends to sell out quickly! Will I buy this box again in the future: More than likely!
Here are some of my pictures for an idea on what the box/gifts are like:
I shared each daily gift on my story on Instagram. There is a photo album on my Facebook Page.
Day 8 was a gift smaller than my hand! It was an ornament of the book Jane Eyre:
Day 9 was uniquely shaped: It ended up being a bookend!
The gifts ranged from as small as a keychain…
To as large as curtains and a windshield protector for your car!:
I wanted to get this review in early in the year!
To look into Once Upon a Book Club, their website is here.[Top]
Author: Stephen King
Narrator: Seth Numrich with Stephen King
Published: September 6, 2022
Audiobook: 24 hours 5 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 2-14, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets Howard Bowditch, a recluse with a big dog in a big house at the top of a big hill. In the backyard is a locked shed from which strange sounds emerge, as if some creature is trying to escape. When Mr. Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie the house, a massive amount of gold, a cassette tape telling a story that is impossible to believe, and a responsibility far too massive for a boy to shoulder.
Because within the shed is a portal to another world—one whose denizens are in peril and whose monstrous leaders may destroy their own world, and ours. In this parallel universe, where two moons race across the sky, and the grand towers of a sprawling palace pierce the clouds, there are exiled princesses and princes who suffer horrific punishments; there are dungeons; there are games in which men and women must fight each other to the death for the amusement of the “Fair One.” And there is a magic sundial that can turn back time.
A story as old as myth, and as startling and iconic as the rest of King’s work, Fairy Tale is about an ordinary guy forced into the hero’s role by circumstance, and it is both spectacularly suspenseful and satisfying.
Fairy Tale was a risk for me as I knew it is in the fantasy genre. The first part is contemporary then it goes fantasy. I started it on my commute home one day and by the time I got home I was 1000% in love with Charlie, Radar, and Mr. Bowdich. Charlie and Mr. Bowdich meet by chance: Charlie hears the dog who formerly frightened all the neighborhood kids when they were younger constantly barking. The dog is up in age now and not as frightening, but Charlie looks to see what’s going on and Mr. Bowdich has had an accident. From here starts the part of the novel I loved: The three-way relationship that forms between Mr. Bowdich, Charlie, and the dog whom we learn is female and her name is Radar.
This beginning contemporary part is for anyone whom is an animal lover. I absolutely love Radar, and if I ever get another dog that is of the Shepard breed or similar, its name will be Radar! There is also intrigue and a mystery as well in this section. This isn’t giving anything away since it is in the book description, but Mr. Bowdich dies and Charlie inherits the house and then learns Mr. Bowdich’s many secrets, among them the existence of a shocking new world, and the entrance to it is in his shed.
I was still interested in the journey to the other world and part of Charlie and Radar’s adventure there. But this is a bit of a spoiler Charlie becomes separated from Radar and then I begin to lose interest in the story as this is where the fantasy part of the novel kicks in. Fantasy is just not for me! There also became so many more characters I couldn’t really keep track. Part of the story became a mesh of The Hunger Games and Divergent with characters fighting to the death. This second part just wasn’t for me.
I guess I just needed a story of ‘a boy and his dog’ as the first part was. There are some difficult scenes involving Radar as she is nearing the end of her life and I was trying to prepare for that, I was so invested with Radar. There is a rush for Charlie to get Radar to the Sundial to… well you must read to see what happens! It’s very good, trust me!
The narrator is Seth Numrich and he did a very good job! Mr. King himself makes an appearance as Mr. Bowdich in the cassette tape Charlie listened to! I was not aware that King was going to have a small part, so I realized it was him and ‘Whoa’d!’ Being it was Mr. King himself narrating it actually distracted me from what was being said. I guess I fan girled a bit hearing his voice.
Overall, if you enjoy contemporary and fantasy I think this will be the novel for you to read! Or even fantasy and a boy and his dog’ story this one will be for you. It just wasn’t fully for me. Like I said, this one was a risk, and overall, I am glad I read it for the first part of the novel.