Tag: fiction

Glaciers

Author: Alexis M. Smith
Published: January 17, 2012
177 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Isabel is a single, twenty-something thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska. Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel’s sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life. While she contemplates loss and the intricate fissures it creates in our lives, she accumulates the stories―the remnants―of those around her and she begins to tell her own story.

Kim’s Review:

This was a quick and easy read. The story is not action packed, but it is emotional. Isabel is a likeable character that gives us a glimpse into her past and into her heart. She doesn’t spend time complaining about things and by the end of the story, it was nice to see her adapt and move on with her life. I loved her junker tendencies and her love of vintage.

Stokes, a vet who works at the library with Isabel, is one of those characters that reminds you of the guy you crushed on in high school. This story brings back all of those feelings of nervousness and butterflies that I’m sure we all felt back when we quietly admired the guys or girls around us. This isn’t a long review because this book was a simple, short story. It isn’t deeply philosophical, or intellectual, or full of energy. It’s a quiet story that is nostalgic and sentimental. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy story that still has a lot of feeling.

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Letters from the Looney Bin

Author: Thatcher C. Nalley
158 Pages
Published: June 11, 2014

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

Description from Amazon:

LETTERS FROM THE LOONEY BIN is a #1 Amazon Bestseller! In the late 1970s the Emerson Rose Asylum became completely abandoned – all the patients, doctors, staff, vanished and were never seen again. The events circling this mass exodus have been one of the most baffling disappearances in history. Until now. A stack of bundled letters was found inside a tattered asylum mattress during the Emerson demolition. These letters, all addressed to the pseudonym Dr. Quill, were written by the patients as they documented the demise of the Emerson Rose Asylum. The patients innocently convey their dire pasts while the events occurring hint toward dark happenings outside their doors. Haunting, their words conjure feelings both grim and promising, as they secretly conjure a plan of mass exodus from the volatile institution. The names have been changed, but the stories have not. Though their identities are protected, the essence of these patients’ challenges, triumphs, corruptions, salvations, and most of all, their human spirit, remains untouched. Their journey will become your journey as the patients chronicle their final months in these, Letters from the Looney Bin.

Kim’s Review:

Here’s another one that I can’t tell if it’s real or not! I definitely seem to gravitate towards books like that! And this one is really good! Crazy people are so fascinating. Combine the insane with an insane asylum and a conspiracy, then you have Letters from the Looney Bin. I loved reading all about why each inmate has been committed. And then to see their discontent with their doctors. I know that this will probably show my ignorance, but dude, I’d love to go to an asylum! Who wants to come visit Emerson Rose Asylum with me? Ivan won’t come with me to any abandoned buildings . . . he doesn’t want to get arrested. Where’s the fun in that?? Well, I read this book in one sitting. I found it intriguing and mysterious and downright engrossing! I absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys psychiatric hospitals or mysteries or secret conspiracies! An awesome 5 star read!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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A Double Review of My Best Friend’s Exorcism

Today is a double review!!! Kim and I both enjoy doing these. Everyone experiences life differently, and therefore has different reading experiences with books. That is why I enjoy reviewing so much: There are so many different opinions and with My Best Friend’s Exorcism we get that. Kim and I have totally different reviews and thoughts of the novel. We both listened to the audiobook and one of us enjoyed it and one of us not so much….

Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
Jessica’s Rating: 3 Stars
Published: May 17, 2016
Audiobook

Description from Amazon:

A heartwarming story of friendship and demonic possession. The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? Like an unholy hybrid of Beaches and The ExorcistMy Best Friend’s Exorcism blends teen angst, adolescent drama, unspeakable horrors, and a mix of ’80s pop songs into a pulse-pounding supernatural thriller.


Kim’s Review: 

I listened to this book on audio, but I did read the physical book last year as well. This one is a bit more difficult to review because I’m kinda shallow when it comes to getting those subtle little things that songs and books try to convey. But after reading this book a second time, I do have a theory. I think this book is simply about the drama of high school. Yes, there is an actual exorcism and demon possession but I’m pretty sure it’s all supposed to be a metaphor. It’s hyperbole . . . boom, obscure literary term!

Abby and Gretchen have been friends forever. Inseparable since 4th grade and Abby’s birthday party where only Gretchen showed up. They had grown up together, at least as far as their sophomore year of high school. And then, everything changed. As one of the unpopular kids, I completely relate to a lot of the things happening in this story. To be on the fringes of high school hierarchy. At least, I never even entered the popular group, so I didn’t know what I was missing. But Abby and Gretchen were some of the most popular girls in their grade. I can only imagine the things that Abby feels when everything changes. A lot of it is typical high school girl stuff, but stretched to the fantastic and unbelievable. Anorexia, crushes on teachers, infidelity, friendship. All such big deals to teenagers and all dealt with here.

And though there is an exorcism of a demon, this wasn’t meant to be a Christian book and I don’t think Hendrix was trying to pass judgement on religion. Like I said, this is more metaphorical than realism. Aside from the language and soft sexual themes, I would actually recommend this to older teenagers. If nothing else, then to show that sometimes friendships last past high school, but most times they don’t, and that’s ok.

Jessica’s Review:
Dates Listened: October 26-November 3, 2017

I had wanted to read My Best Friend’s Exorcism for a little while and I got the chance to listen to the audiobook at Halloween time! For me that was perfect since it deals with an exorcism. It is labeled as horror, fiction, and young adult.  My Best Friend’s Exorcism is not really horror though there are some scenes that are not for the squeamish.  Technically also a YA novel as the main characters are teenagers, this book will not be for younger teens.  There are adult situations and the language was extreme for me. Language does not tend to bother me unless it is extreme, and I got tired of hearing the F-word. I don’t think I have read or watched anything with that much language since the movie Goodwill Hunting. I actually debated on stopping it because of the language, but the novel is well written and I wanted to get to the exorcism, so I continued on.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism is all about Abby and Gretchen’s long term friendship.  They have been best friends since they were children and bonded over E.T.  I was born in 1980 and this story takes place in the 1980s so I really enjoyed the references to everything from the music to E.T., and even VHS tapes!  There are so many kids now that will not know what some of these various media and ‘relics from the past’ are!

Then one night something happens to Gretchen and she begins to change.  Everything changes for Abby as well.  A lot of what happens is cliquish in that high school way that things are.  I did like that the novels shows how relationships can last or fall apart after high school.  This is true on so many levels. I have one friend I still keep in touch with that I have known since sixth grade. She has become like another sister.  She has moved to another state due to her husband’s job and I miss her so much! She will be that lifelong friend that some of us are very lucky to have. I love you Jennie!

I was anticipating the exorcism and for the most part it delivered.  The narrator portrayed the demon’s voice very well. It actually got me in the mood to watch The Exorcist.  Or maybe I’ll listen to the audiobook… Or maybe I’ll do both… But will reading The Exorcist give me nightmares????

**SPOILER:The one thing with the exorcism that I don’t agree with was that the exorcist did not defeat the demon, Abby did.  For me that was saying that the girls’ friendship is stronger than God. I can’t agree with that. I did see the point that the author was making, which is the girl’s friendship, I just can’t agree with this direction.  END SPOILER**

Overall, I can’t recommend My Best Friend’s Exorcism as the language was too much for me. I gave it three stars since it was well written and again, I loved all the 80’s references.


For you ‘children of the 80’s,’ there is a second cover and I think you will like it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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