Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{Audiobook} Review: American Elsewhere

 photo americanelsewhere_zps234c01f6.jpg American Elsewhere
by Robert Jackson Bennett

Genre: Science Fiction
Source: my own copy
Date Read: 06 February 2014
Narrator: Graham Winton
Length: Unabridged - 22 hours; 24 minutes 

Some places are too good to be true. Under a pink moon, there is a perfect little town not found on any map. In that town, there are quiet streets lined with pretty houses, houses that conceal the strangest things. After a couple years of hard traveling, ex-cop Mona Bright inherits her long-dead mother's home in Wink, New Mexico. And the closer Mona gets to her mother's past, the more she understands that the people of Wink are very, very different.

My thoughts:
I had a really hard time writing this review.  When a friend asked what I thought of American Elsewhere, I really had to search for words to describe my feelings.  

I cannot decide if I even liked it. I know I am in the minority, looking at all the glowing reviews on Goodreads, but I am sure I would have dropped it if it was not an audio version.  I find that I read outside my normal "comfort zone" when I listen to audiobooks (which just makes me love audiobooks all the more!).

The story started off very slowly and is written in very descriptive, what I image, would be considered prose (my reading style is usually much more relaxed).   Huge sections are just very flowery language describing for example the valley and mountains near the village or just the beautiful night and pink moon.   This is not your usual Sunday afternoon beach read.

Towards the middle, the story starts and it is very, very strange. Not sure why some would consider it horror though. It is at most very loosely based science fiction (mostly alien) or maybe fantasy. 

There is some action towards the end and a lot happens in just the last few chapters.  By this time, I was invested in the story and I just had so see what the author would do to tie up all the loose ends.   I think all fell in place very easily.

I would recommend this to readers of more literary fiction or to people like me who enjoy stretching their reading experience with audiobooks.  


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Come join the Write On Review-a-thon

The Write On review-a-thon is a monthly event created and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. It’s 2 days dedicated to getting reviews done, whether you have one review to write or 30+. This edition of the review-a-thon takes place all day Friday, February 28th and Saturday, March 1st. Let’s get those reviews done!  

I am working on Friday (urghhhh), so I will only be able to start Friday evening but I might just continue further until Sunday or when I finish. 

Luckily I am only 4 reviews behind.  (3 books and 1 movie)

Joyland by Stephen King
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry

and  Argo.

There will be a Twitter Chat on Friday, February 28th at 6 am PST (time zone converter). Follow @reviewathon and use the #reviewathon hashtag to follow along and participate. (Participating in the Twitter chat is not required to participate in the review-a-thon.)

I have not taken part in a twitter chat before but I might try for the first time. :) 

Edit:  I only completed my movie review.  Bad me!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

{Movie} Review: Ender's Game

Ender's Game (2013)
Starring:  Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis
Genre:  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 

The Earth was ravaged by the Formics, an alien race seemingly determined to destroy humanity. Seventy years later, the people of Earth remain banded together to prevent their own annihilation from this technologically superior alien species. Ender Wiggin, a quiet but brilliant boy, may become the savior of the human race. He is separated from his beloved sister and his terrifying brother and brought to battle school in orbit around earth. He will be tested and honed into an empathetic killer who begins to despise what he does as he learns to fight in hopes of saving Earth and his family.  (from IMDb)

My thoughts:
I have been ill for some time and even though I do have the audiobook, I decided to watch the movie of Ender's Game instead.  

I was under the impression that this would be full blown action sci-fi movie from start to finish.  And there was action, a lot of action, with beautiful special effects but this movie was more about the relationship between Ender and Colonel Graff  - his teacher and mentor. (not something that my husband was very interested in -so for him, this movie came up short.)

Ender and Colonel Graff have a difficult relationship and it was hard seeing that Ender was purposely put into conflict with his schoolmates to make him become the leader he was meant to be.  Colonel Graff was continuously very hard on him and kept on saying "you are Earth's last hope".  A lot of pressure for a young boy.  I thought that came through very clearly throughout the movie. 

Even though I enjoyed the movie and was caught up in the excitement of the war, I am not sure that I will be listening to the book or any of the sequels.  I have been reading some reviews of devoted fans of the books and I am not sure if this was maybe a compilation of parts from more than the first book.  Either way, I did not enjoy the ending of the movie and am not really interested in where it might lead in the rest of the series.

But for a few hours of fun, this fit the bill perfectly.

 Perfect for a lazy afternoon.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Commit to Exercise 2014

This year I want to get healthier.  I am really bad at excersise but I want to at least make the effort.  Felicia, The Geeky Book Blogger,  is hosting a great motivator and I am joining in.  The goal is to walk at least 30 minutes every day.  As I am much too unfit, I will start with a 15 minute walk and built up from there.  I will also have to sit out every 3rd week because of the side effects from chemotherapy but I am committed to make the effort for the other weeks in the month.

February 2014:
Week 1:
Sunday: 15 min walk with the dogs
Monday:  powerwalk around office building
Tuesday: powerwalk around office building
Wednesday: rest
Thursday:powerwalk around office building
Friday:  rest
Saturday: rest

Week 2:
Sunday: rest
Monday: powerwalk around office building
Tuesday:powerwalk around office building
Wednesday:powerwalk around office building
Thursday:powerwalk around office building
Friday:  powerwalk around office building
Saturday: rest

Week 3:
Sunday: rest
Monday: hopsital
Thursday: rest
Friday:  rest
Saturday: rest