Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: dr.a.g. bookthefilm edition


"Drag has become a diverse form of expression that challenges, entertains, and educates by pushing boundaries, while embracing beauty, comedy and glamour. The performers in this book are evidence of that diversity, captured by some of the top photographers working in the world today. "




 As a long time fan of Rupaul Charles and his tv show Rupaul's Drag Race, I find the art of D.R.A.G. to be an exciting form of expression, art and personality.

Whether is music, literature, politics, clothing, makeup, or cars..we all have our own preferences. We have an opinion of everything, even things you never thought you might have an opinion on.

The first time I looked through the book of photographs in d.r.a.g. bookthefilm edition I found myself thinking about how I would have liked more variety of models (some having more than one photo in the book) for example Acid Betty. She has two photos but they are the exact same make-up and outfit, just different angles, how I would have preferred a different picture of her in another outfit and make-up.

I realized I kept hearing myself say "it's not drag enough" for some models and finding a couple photos not appealing at all. But that is just the thing, like any other artistic outlet in life, there is variety, I just had to turn the page/change the station/buy a different color lipstick...etc.

This book definitely has variety, and the most appealing part to me was the details in the majority of the photos, these are up close and personal. Like with Acid Betty you can see the details, colors, angles that went into the look to make it a whole. And like everything in life sometimes  you get loud, and sometimes you get subtle. No matter your taste you will find it here.

d.r.a.g. bookthefilm edition  is really well put together photo collection of some very talented Drag artists. It would make a great coffee table book, or something to display on your shelves. It is full of color, beauty and some questionable visuals, but something for everyone....I still wish there was more!


The book celebrates top drag stars from Rupauls' Drag Race, the New York Strip, Las Vegas, Belgium, Australia, Canada and the UK.

Amazon Link  https://www.amazon.com/Christopher-Logan/e/B0072XMIFS/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

 Christopher Logan was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and studied acting as The Stella Adler Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood, California. He has appeared in over 40 television shows and films and currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia where he produces events and books to raise funding for independent film. (from Amazon.com)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Immortal Shadow by Anderson Atlas

Immortal Shadow (Heroes of Distant Planets #3)Immortal Shadow by Anderson Atlas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This story is one that I would imagine being published in a short story anthology. You will not get a fully rounded novel with character development, themes or a story arch. The story tells of a slave who becomes so strong that he able to confront all of the challenges presented to him and given the opportunity to rule his own planet.

Jibbawk is an ultimate ruler, if he does not agree with you or your in the wrong place at the wrong time, your dead. There is only one exception. The teenager from Earth who helps Jibbawk obtain the knowledge of Earth by fetching him books, and technology. For this Jibbawk is grateful and makes attempts to provide Adam with comforts and companionship. Little does Jibbawk know that Adam is also teaching the people how to stand up to Jibbawk and keeping secrets from him. When there is trouble the people rise up.

I found this story to be very entertaining I was immediately sucked in and with so much happening it all goes by very fast. I was surprised, intrigued and grossed out watching Jibbawk, a creature with no empathy, charges through this setting with the one desire to become immortal.

This is the first book I have read by the author and it does not have to be read in series order. I feel like if given more development in world building, character growth and plot it would make a really good full length novel.




View all my reviews

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Secret Sea by Barry Lyga

Zak Killian hears a voice. Could it be a guardian angel? A ghost? No, that’s crazy. But sometimes the voice is so real…It warns him of danger—directs him to safety.

Then one day Zak is standing on the subway platform when the voice warns him to run. The tunnel starts to fill with water. His friends Moira and Khalid believe this is more than a premonition, and soon all three find themselves in an alternate universe that is both familiar and seriously strange. As Zak unravels the mystery behind the voice, he faces decisions that may mean the end of their world at home—if they can even get home!





The author makes a note that inspiration for this story came about when he read a story that a ship had been unearthed under the ground zero rubble. A boat, so far inland and how it got there and the message is sends to today. After reading that this story made a lot more sense to me. But going into the book not knowing that led to some very weird times when I was trying to piece together what was happening and how the events made sense blended together.
This story is a mixture of a thriller-adventure with science fiction and a bit of paranormal. Zak begins to hear somebody calling to him, and soon he finds that is is being drawn to the subway system downtown trying to get him to cross over to where ever they are. With some prodding and accompaniment of his two best friends Zak does find his way over the border into a new dimension, following the clues to who the voices belong to and their connection to him.
I found myself flying through this book, there was always something happening and ramping up the story lines as it goes. There were times that I would find some pause trying to figure out how certain events could play out in the story. For example Zak has a condition and when the jump to this new dimension he must find whatever version of the antidote the new world had so he didn't end up dead. At first leading me to believe that it was something the author did to add some drama to the story to give it more of a thriller feeling, being on a deadline to find the medicine, or die.
What I found is that it made me think a lot about how it is just the small things that can make major changes to our futures, medicine, weather and ideas. In this different dimension that they have to find their way around is a mixture of the current day New York City and what could be a slightly different one. One of the main focuses of this story is New York City itself. As I only have a very small idea of the streets, monuments and buildings are like there. I believe that people who are more familiar with the city will really enjoy this story as it does compare a lot of the landscape between the two worlds.
I came away from this book with more thoughts of "that was interesting" than anything else. I didn't love the story but I found it very entertaining and attention grabbing, especially in the end where it took a bit of an angle that I didn't see coming. 

This review was originally written for and posted on readingteen.net

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Secrets of Lake Road by Karen Katchur

The Secrets of Lake Road

A haunting story about the destructive power of secrets, this accomplished and gripping suspenseful women's fiction debut is perfect for fans of Lisa Scottoline and Heather Gudenkauf

Jo has been hiding the truth about her role in her high school boyfriend’s drowning for sixteen years. Every summer, she drops her children off with her mother at the lakeside community where she spent summers growing up, but cannot bear to stay herself; everything about the lake reminds her of the guilt she feels. For her daughter Caroline, however, the lake is a precious world apart; its familiarity and sameness comforts her every year despite the changes in her life outside its bounds. At twelve years old and caught between childhood and adolescence, she longs to win her mother’s love and doesn’t understand why Jo keeps running away.

Then seven-year-old Sara Starr goes missing from the community beach. Rescue workers fail to uncover any sign of her—but instead dredge up the bones Jo hoped would never be discovered, shattering the quiet lakeside community’s tranquility. Caroline was one of the last people to see Sara alive on the beach, and feels responsible for her disappearance. She takes it upon herself to figure out what happened to the little girl. As Caroline searches for Sara, she uncovers the secrets her mother has been hiding, unraveling the very foundation of everything she knows about herself and her family. The Secrets of Lake Road by Karen Katchur is a riveting novel that is impossible to put down and hard to forget.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books  I received a review copy from readingteen.net
What I loved most about this book was it reminded me of one of my favorite movies A Walk on The Moon (Diane Lane). The whole atmosphere of living in cabin by the lake and the summertime laziness is very well portrayed in this story. The story is told from multiple perspectives, mostly from 12 year old Caroline. A story I would only recommend to older teens and adults. It covers a lot of serious issues and is definitely not a light summer read. (Although I couldn't stop turning pages!)
It begins with the drowning of a young girl that closes the beach for several days for recovery. With the atmosphere set for the story of loss that reminds the whole area of other drownings in the past. And when bones are found while searching for Sara, secrets, lies and an old case of drowning re-opens in the hearts of the community. Caroline's family is the focus of the story and the behavior of those living in the cabin for the summer gets her searching deeper into the the last drowning, 26 year old Billy Hawkes.
Caroline has to do a lot of growing up over this summer. With the main source of entertainment (the lake) being closed off, the kids must find other ways to keep busy. This seclusion also has Caroline realizing how different she is than her friend Megan and she beings spending more time alone or with the boys.
Jo, Caroline's mother has had strained relationships with all of her family members. She is constantly on the run from her past and present, easily scared off. This summer causes her to re-analyze and re-build her relationships, especially when they are all directly confronted with the past.
I loved this story, the prose and atmosphere of the setting was very well done and had me longing for more. At it's heart it is a story of family and growing apart from each other. It covers a lot of adult topics, as well as a coming of age story. A lot of mystery, secrets, heart break and healing. It was a really touching read.  I gave it 5 stars

Friday, December 9, 2016

Flashes by Tim O'Rourke

Flashes (Flashes)

A brilliant detective thriller with a supernatural twist!

Charley has visions...

Flashes of things she can't explain. A girl in trouble. The sound of trains. She feels certain they are clues to a crime. But no one will believe her. Until she meets Tom, a young policeman on his first case: an accidental death on the railway tracks, not far from where Charley lives. Was it an accident, suicide...or murder?

The attraction between Charley and Tom is instant, but can they work together to find out what really happened on the tracks before it happens again?
 
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: October 27th 2015 by Chicken House  I received a review copy from readingteen.net
Recommended for fans of Slide by Jill Hathaway and 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma. Flashes is the story of Charley who has been experiencing flashes- or visions- of girls whom have been kidnapped and murdered. They all seem to be connected somehow and she's been having them for years. When her best friend dies, the only one that believed what she saw. She decides that she has to find out the answers to why.
Charley has always been teased at school and it was hard enough to find a friend that stood by her side. One that believed she saw the flashes and they meant something. When her best friend dies she has only her father. A Father that gets upset whenever she mentions her flashes and takes her to see doctors. When trying to track down the latest vision Charley meets the newbie police officer on the case and they begin to work a case together. He believes her and they decide a serial killer is on the loose.
For a book about murders and romance it is a pretty clean read. There is violence (of course) but the story is a subtle and progressive mystery. My favorite character was Tom, as a young and new police officer he has not yet been corrupted by the system and trusts his gut. The story is told from both Charley and Tom's perspectives, also more than getting the flashes there are other ways that the dead girls are asking Charley for help.
Supernatural mystery with a cute beginning to a romance. Charley and Tom worked great together and it would be interesting to see what could happen next in their story.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hide and Seek by Jane Casey

Hide and Seek (Jess Tennant #3)

Jess Tennant's classmate is kidnapped right before the Christmas holiday in this third novel in Jane Casey's brilliant young adult mystery series.

It's Christmas in Port Sentinel, the tiny English town where Jess Tennant has been living for more than a year now. She wasn't sure how she felt about moving away from London when her mom dragged her to Port Sentinel right before 

Hardcover, 288 pages

Published August 25th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published July 30th 2015)   Review copy received from readingteen.net
It's the Christmas season and Jess is trying to find out what happened to Gilly, right when family and boyfriend problems also occur. Jess Tennant is one of those unforgettable characters, and very consistent. You never doubt that when she is "advised" to not do something, she is the first one in line. When her project partner goes missing on the night they are scheduled to meet. Jess goes to her home to see if everything is ok. Turns out that Gilly is gone. Jess begins to investigate if Gilly could be a runaway or worse, dead. Giving the reader several different directions the story can go, Jess then begins to break down all the clues and questioning those in Gilly's life.
As the series has progressed Jess is opening up to working directly with the police. And by that I mean give them the information she feels in necessary to act on things she can't. Gilly has lived with her abusive mother for years and is dying for some attention and affection in her life. Jess finds her journal early on in the story but it's cryptic.
She spends the rest of the novel trying to decipher what the diary entries mean. By pinpointing who she was with on certain days and what her relationship was with them.
Jess tends to fixate on things that tend to bother her. She doesn't give up and even puts her own life in danger to help others and find answers.

Monday, November 28, 2016

What We Knew by Barbara Stewart

What We Knew

When a local myth starts to seem like a dangerous reality, two girls are set on a path that could change their lives forever

"When I was little, I imagined a monster: Scaly hands. Pits for eyes..."

When Tracy and her best friend, Lisa, were kids, stories about a man—a creep who exposes himself to little girls—kept them out of the woods and in their own backyards. But Tracy and Lisa aren't so little anymore, and the man in the woods is nothing but a stupid legend. Right?

But someone is in the woods. Someone is watching. And he knows all their secrets, secrets they can't tell anyone—not even each other.

"Monsters don't exist."

Lisa's just being paranoid. At least that’s what Tracy thinks. But when a disturbing "gift" confirms her worst fears, it sets the girls on a dangerous journey that takes them beyond the edge of the woods. But reality is more terrifying than the most chilling myth, and what they find will test the bonds of friendship, loyalty, and love.

"Once upon a time, two girls were lost in the woods."

In Barbara's Stewart's What We Knew, Tracy and Lisa can't destroy the evil they'll face, but can they stop it from destroying each other?
 
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 14th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin     I received a copy from readingteen.net for review
Lisa and Tracy have been friends for years. They fight, they play and are always there for each other. One day their friends decide it would be entertaining to go into the woods to see if the "banana man" really exists. Some say he's a dangerous criminal, others say he's just a pervert. Upon finding that there is a man who lives in the woods the girls begin to focus more on this idea that there is always someone watching. Paranoia can lead to a lot of things

Lisa has always been a protective person but when she begins to find objects from the "banana man's" house in her room she decides it's time to take control of her life. Tracy betrays somebody she loves and finds it hard to communicate with her mother. She turns inwards looking for what makes her happy and avoid serious issues in her life. A lot of bad decisions are made and their futures decided through the actions they take this summer.
The book is a contemporary, somewhat coming of age story that packs a lot of suspense. The voices of Lisa and Tracy is very well done in this story, so much raw truth in life that it was almost painful to read at times. I really enjoyed the fact that the author added in this mysterious atmosphere to the story throughout because it made for the ending to pack a bigger punch. How well do you really know your best friend?
This story is very raw, real and deals with serious issues. Growing up is hard to do! I recommend this one, it was interesting and thought provoking. I rated it 3 stars.