Tag Archives: book review

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing book review

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, By Hank Green, is the first book I read in 2019 and the first book I finished in its entirety in quite a long time! (you can watch my TBR here).

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing follows April May, an aspiring young artist in New York City. One day April stumbles upon a giant metal samurai statue and makes a video with her friend Andy. Overnight the video goes viral as the world discovers these statues have popped up all over the world and are presumed to be alien.

I love this book. I never review books I don’t like because I don’t finish them. Well, I finished this one in five days flat. It may help that I laughed my ass off a lot, and that rarely happens with books!.. I am a long time fan of the Green brothers and the work they do. My first book, Blackout, had “DFTBA” a nerdighter reference in the first pages. Picking up this book I was preparing for a read similar to John’s style and was pleasantly surprised that Hank has a much different style of writing; almost quicker, adult oriented, and more personal. The standout for this book to me is just how modern it is as well. The characters make YouTube videos, converse through Facebook, and worry about their Twitter followers. It merges the written word with modern life and technology like I haven’t seen before.

AART is about the contact with these alien objects, the reaction of humanity, and the conflicting hate/comradery that comes with all this. But, all of this is more of a vessel for what I see as the real point of the book… Fame. April comes in to fame almost over night. Despite what she wants, she is consumed by the fame and loves every moment of it. She wants more of it, and she needs more of it. Hank Green himself speaks about this from a first person perspective and seeing an honest portrayal of the hunger for fame people have is awesome.

I legitimately see myself picking this book up again to read a second time. You should check it out.

2019 TBR

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(You can pre-order my new novel, Death Do Us Part, here)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald movie review

 

It may not surprise anyone when I say I didn’t enjoy this movie, given that is a popular opinion at this point, but it breaks my heart none the less. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a sequel to “Where to Find Them” and follows the uprising of the universes most famous dark wizard. Now, I feel it must be stated that my wife and I are huge Harry Potter fans, both of us sporting tattoos and collectibles. I am however a much bigger fan than her. I enjoyed the first installment of the series, liking the twists it put on the things I already loved without ruining itself or relying on the Harry Potter series too much. It marketed itself as completely separate except for the world itself. I respected and liked that. I went it to this movie with high hopes and they were dashed away rather quickly into it.

The movie opens with one of the most bad ass magic fights we have had since the finale of Order of the Phoenix. The stunning visuals coupled with score of John Williams are breathtaking. That is, unfortunately, the peak of the movie. Shortly after this it spirals into a cluster of confusing plots, characters that go nowhere, and references that are shoved down your throat every few minutes to distract you from how boring this movie actually is. This truly saddens me to write because I am someone that will quite regularly throw in a Harry Potter movie to relax during a rough time.

There are so many main plots, sub plots, character arcs, and everything else that it is honestly just hard to follow. At the end of it I wasn’t sure what was important, what was going on, or if it was even over. Because of this it made the big twist at the end more confusing rather than anything else and I left the theater completely unsatisfied.

The actors in this are good. Eddie Redmayne as Newt is still amazing and the best part of this movie. The movie is less focused on him than the first one however and it suffers from it. I don’t believe it needed to be focused on him completely but if they didn’t want to they needed to make the other characters just as interesting. Jude Law as Dumbeldore was great but he had barely any screen time. Johhny Depp was a nice cast for Grindelwald, but they gave him nothing to do, wasting the character and actor at the same time. Any time spent with Credence, played by Ezra Miller, brought the movie to a screeching halt and we were with him a lot.

The icing on the cake for me was the references. References were everywhere, handed to you on a silver platter, trying to distract you from what you were watching by reminding you of the good times. But it didn’t work. I was only reminded that I wasn’t watching those movies instead. I wanted this movie to succeed on its own. I didn’t want it to rely on my love for its predecessor. A few call backs would have been fine, welcome even, but it was clear it KNEW it wasn’t good. It was clear it WANTED  me distracted and reminiscing.

Writing this review doesn’t make me happy. In fact it disappoints, and saddens me that I am writing it. But it is honest. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is boring, and expects to get by purely on your love of Harry Potter to make money with it’s next three movies. It is nothing more than a shameful cash-grab filler.

John Green books: Best-Still good

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(I would just like to say that ALL of his books are fantastic and he has been my biggest inspirations as a writer)

Looking for Alaska book review

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Fifty Shades Darker movie review

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You want to know what makes me mad? This is actually a good story. If you lay down the bullet points for this movie, take out all the weird BDSM stuff, and don’t make it too over the top dramatic, it could be damn good. But, NOPE, they kept the weird (fake) BDSM stuff, roided the fuck out of the drama, slapped on some shitty writing and glazed over actors, and BAM! Released a shit storm of a movie that makes me angry to this day. You know I watched this months ago, forgot it even existed, and then saw it in my feed and was like, “Shit, I watched that didn’t I? I should probably review it.” This is the most forgettable piece of garbage film that ever came about. It makes twilight look like a god damn masterpiece in film making and love. I want them to cast Kristen Stewart in the next one to add a little emotion to this movie. I want Michael Bay to direct it, add in some some explosions to grab my attention and then M Night to come in a and throw me for a loop so I don’t want to claw my eyes out watching a couple more of these… Yes, I realize I haven’t told you anything about the actual movie… The main chick who’s name is dumb is getting followed by one of the rich guys old flings and realizes he has a type. Also at some point in this they get back together and have a normal relationship which the girl thinks he doesn’t want. There is some turmoil with a different fling of his who is trying to break them up, and also a helicopter crashes. Didn’t follow any of that? Who gives a shit, this movie is trash.

Tough Sh*t book review

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Tough Shit, but with a star I guess, so Tough Sh*t is a memoir by Kevin Smith. And, if Mr. Smith is reading this I mean ABSOLUTELY no offense, but holy fuck was I surprised at how good this was! I didn’t know much of anything about Kevin Smith before reading this. My knowledge of him was that he was Silent Bob, a nerd, liked hockey, was annoying, and talked about his fatness. Which, isn’t necessarily untrue, I just have a lot of respect for him now and see the depth of his career and intelligence. Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good (hell of a title) tells Kevin Smiths story from Childhood on. He tells you, in his own voice, about his trials and tribulations as a director/writer and he goes as far back as Clerks, giving you the run down on his entire career along with the doubts he had in himself, and the relationships he had. This book was meant to be inspirational to it’s readers, and tell the story of Kevin Smith. It achieved both of those things very deeply with me, which I was not expecting at all when I picked it up as a casual read. It may not be that interesting to anyone who is not a fan of Kevin Smiths, which I am NOW, but I was not before. What I do love though, is the film industry. Obviously, I devoted an entire blog and a good part of my life to it! Hearing him talk about it passionately, stirred my passion as well, and if you love movies or film, it will do the same for you.

American Holdovers (my third novel)

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June 17th everyone! The Day is here! AMERICAN HOLDOVERS IS NOW RELEASED! You can find the book on the Createspace site right now (where I publish my books through). Amazon and the kindle store within a few days, and bookstores across the country in 4-8 weeks! I have included a link below.
American Holdovers is my third published novel and chronicles not only my time, but, also my many friends and fellow holdovers during our time as a holdover at Ft. Jackson during a hurricane and the consequences and events that transpired because of this a couple years back.
https://www.createspace.com/5959013

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie review

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I have a Harry Potter tattoo. I just thought that should be noted before I write this review. I have a Harry Potter tattoo and a large obsession with the series… Needless to say my hopes were quite high for this movie and I’m happy to say they were not let down! Fantastic Beasts takes place seventy years before the events of Harry Potter and follows Newt Scamander on his trip to the states… You see, Newt has a case (that’s bigger on the inside) of magical creatures that he cares for and releases back into the wild. At this point in the world magical creatures are killed off because of the assumption that they are dangerous… Along the way he stumbles into a no-maj (a lazy U.S. way of saying muggle, which is SO much cooler), played by Dan Fogler, who basically plays the embodiment of every HP fan out there… Much like Harry Potter, this movie starts out fun and light-hearted but turns dark and grim near the end. Collin Farrell plays Graves, a man who is clearly bad from the start but has an amazing twist at the end… This was a fantastic movie, and a standalone great, despite being a spin off of one of the best series ever. I look forward to the massive series this will undoubtedly be.

 

An Interview with A.C. Efverman (Author of Game)

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Swedish crime fiction author A.C. Efverman was born in Stockholm, year 1972. She lived and worked in many countries before she finally settled in Australia in 1996. During her time of travel she saw and experienced a lot – in one horrific moment she had a gun pointed at her head. She writes from her experience of being a victim of crime, as well as drawing from her extensive imagination, plus many hours’ research of real life murderers, police procedures and forensic data. Her novels contain the same main characters and the stories are set in her adopted home town Sydney. A.C. Efverman is also an artist – she is a graduate of Stockholm School of Arts – and she utilizes her artistic view of the world in her writing. Her books are available world wide in both English and Swedish.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have always written stories since I was a child; I started out by writing novellas and poetry. I then started reading books by Agatha Christie when I was about eight years old and I also read real life crime stories in my grandmother’s lifestyle magazines at about the same age – and looking back at it, I think that this sparked my interest in crime fiction. I started writing many novels when I was in my late teens, but at that time I had started travelling the world, so I left many unfinished manuscripts in my wake… and it wasn’t until I had settled in Australia that I finished writing a crime fiction novel – a book that was published in Sweden year 2002.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

When I have a deadline I keep a strict schedule of when I write and do my research – when I don’t have a deadline; the time spent writing is more scattered…

What genre are your books?

Crime fiction / Mystery / Thriller.

I understand you are a Swedish author. Is the Swedish market any different than the English?

Yes the Swedish market differs from the English speaking market in my opinion. Swedish readers grow up with Scandinavian Noir (like I did) and they are more open to the cold and realistic way us Swedes tell a story.

Is it difficult to translate your own books?

No it’s not difficult, as I know my stories inside out – but it’s very time consuming.

What inspired you to settle down in Australia?

I travelled the world by myself for six years and worked and lived in many countries – Australia was my favourite country of them all and I when came back to Sydney in 1996 I met my husband. You can work out the rest…

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I start with an idea of a plot – and from there the story grows constantly in the back of my mind.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

For me it was natural to write a book series – I have created characters that need to live on. I do have an idea for another story that wouldn’t involve my main characters, but that book will have to written further down the line as I’m completely immersed in this series for now.

Can you tell me about the time you were held up at gunpoint?

I came to Australia for the first time in 1994 – and I landed in Perth. A few days after I had arrived, I went to the beach – it was a windy mid-week day and there was no one else on the beach. In fact, it was so windy I had to take shelter among the sand dunes; and I had been sitting there for a while reading, when I looked up and saw that a young man was running down a sand dune towards me. I remember thinking that he was good looking and that it was odd that he was running straight towards me but he wasn’t looking at me. When he reached me he still didn’t look at me, but he took a gun from his shorts pocket and held it to my head. I just froze in sheer terror and fright. But then the guy turned his head slightly and stared at something behind me and I turned my head and saw that a middle aged man was jogging towards us on the beach. The guy then put the gun back in his shorts pocket, turned his back on me and ran up the sand dune. I sat there and watched his back until he was gone and then I ran down on the beach, but the middle aged man was gone; there was no one there – so I kept running on the beach until I reached a kiosk; where I asked the man who was working there if I could use his phone to call the police. The police came and they took me in their car, cruising the area to look for the man – but he was nowhere to be seen, so they took me to the police station where I gave descriptions of both the young man and the middle aged man. The police then told me that both of these men were suspects in a string of rapes that had been committed under gun threat in the local area! I suppose that the middle aged man had jogged on the beach towards us to warn his partner that someone else was coming – but I can’t be sure of this, or why the men didn’t carry out their attack on me; and I never will know.
I left Perth a few days later, feeling lucky to have escaped unharmed. A few years later I heard on the news that young women had started going missing in that same area in Perth and it was later revealed that they were victims of a serial killer – a killer that still hasn’t been caught… With all the research I do on serial killers, I know that most of them start out as serial rapists and I have a disturbing thought that I could have ended up in a shallow grave in Perth if the timing had been different…
I will say this though: this experience – and other experiences I have had the misfortune of experiencing whilst travelling – have taught me what it feels like to be a victim – and I recall these feelings when I write about the victims in my books.

Ever thought about branching out into other genres?

No, I write crime fiction only. It’s a genre that I love: both reading and writing.

What are your ambitions for the future of your writing career?

I plan to write more books in my series ‘DS Morgan Callaghan’ – and I can’t wait to see what else happens to my characters! And, as I mentioned earlier; I have an idea for a different kind of book – but it’s still crime fiction.

Favorite movie adaptation of a book?

Perfume: the Story of a Murderer – both the book and the movie were outstanding!

If you like what you have heard, and why wouldn’t you, you can check out  A.C. Efverman and pick up her new book here…

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14391148.A_C_Efverman