Book Review

Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories

By Frank Mundo

  photo 12101755.jpg
Publisher: Lunatick Trading Company
Format: EBook
Page number: 114
Genre: Adult, collection of short stories
Dates read: January 12th – 14th, 2018
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Summary: Twelve interconnected short stories about the life of J.T. Glass, a Los Angeles security guard with an uncanny knack for finding trouble and falling in love–often at the same time.
In many of the stories, J.T. is challenged with moral decisions that walk the fine line between humor and tragedy. Some of the stories address J.T.’s childhood, while others deal with his utter misunderstanding of women and his relationships with them.

This special edition also includes the first chapter of The Brubury Tales, where the story of J.T. Glass continues in this adaptation of Chaucer’s classic Canterbury Tales set in Los Angeles just after the 1992 riots.

*Stories contain violence, adult language, and adult situations.


_____________________________________

“Are you a police man?” she asked instead.
“No,” I told her. “I’m a security guard.”
“What’s that?” she wondered, making clucking noises with her tongue. She had little chewed up clumps of white bread stuck in her teeth.
“It’s like a policeman,” I said. “But without the money, power, or respect.”

**********

Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and other stories by Frank Mundo is a collection of short stories that give insight to various stages in the life of a man named J.T. Glass. J.T. is a security guard with a sharp tongue, wild imagination, a wicked and sometimes dark sense of humor and has an interesting way of looking at life.

There are tweleve parts to this book (one is of bonus material) and each one tells us a different story. Whether J.T. is showing us moments that’s he’s currently living through or ones he’s reflecting back on, we get to watch him as he stumbles through life trying to make sense of it all. We get to journey with him as he experiences and reminisces on certain parts of his life and lays bare some of his most personal, yet memorable moments.

I loved how the author weaved between light and funny to dark and tragic (and everything in between) so fluidly; Frank Mundo touches on a wide range of emotions through these tales. There are a ton of funny parts that made me laugh out loud, and there are some parts that I found shocking and sad. This author really knows how to tell an engaging story and his writing style and characters’ personalities will really draw you in. There were a few parts that dragged a bit for me, and few “funny” parts that I found cheesy but I did enjoy this read.

Overall, this book is a really interesting collection of stories told from different times (and perspectives) of J.T. Glass’ life. We get to see him grow from a child to an adult as he matures and changes with each thing he experiences within these stories. I do feel I should put a trigger warning though: this is geared toward adult readers and there are some scenes that involve heavy and disturbing topics such as the mention of rape, suicide, death and more. So please read with caution if you think you will be bothered by that.

**** Thank you to Booktasters for introducing me to this author, and thank you to Frank Mundo for giving me the opportunity to read and review his work. ****

Book Review

Wintersong

By S. Jae-Jones

  photo 29763799.jpg
Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books
Format: EBook
Source: Netgalley
Page number: 400
Genre: YA, dark fantasy, fairy tale, retelling
Dates read: January 8th – 11th, 2018
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Summary: Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world. 

Continue reading

Book Review

Light of Hope

By S.T. Collins

 photo 28424045.jpg

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Booktasters
Page number: 246
Genre: Adult contemporary / suspense romance
Dates read: January 2nd-4th 2018
Rating: ⭐

Summary: Light of Hope, by S. T. Collins, introduces us to Vikki Nelson, a young divorcée who is determined to make a difference in her work—by becoming a social worker. She works hard and finally lands a job at the Light of Hope, a women’s shelter in her area.  Although her main focus in life has always been to help others, Vikki can’t help it when she falls for her boss, Robert Cuccio. Their relationship is passionate and forbidden, but it fills a void in Vikki’s heart; Robert is so unlike Vikki’s abusive ex-husband. Has she finally found the man to make all of her dreams come true? 

____________________________________

Vikki and her older sister Lily were raised by three different motherly figures: their biological mother, a maternal grandmother and a grand aunt. Their alcoholic father had never really been a part of their lives, and their mother always insisted that they were better off with out him. But how will growing up with out a father / male figure in their lives shape these sisters?

Fast forward to their adulthood’s and both sisters are living together with Lily’s 16 year old son, some years after having divorced severely toxic and abusive men. Being tight on cash, they see it as a blessing when Vikki manages to get hired at a woman’s shelter called Light of Hope.

This story is more about the younger sister, Vikki, and how she learns to move on from her past relationship and take a risk on a man she meets at workher boss. Robert Cuccio is the total opposite of Vikki’s ex-husband, but can she open herself up to him enough to trust Robert and take a chance on being in another relationship?

Light of Hope by S.T. Collins is an adult contemporary / suspense romance novel that focuses heavily on domestic abuse. This is the first book in S. T. Collins’ trilogy and she uses part of the proceeds from her work to help victims put an end to this horrible actwhich is an amazing thing to do!

Vikki’s (and Lily’s) story is definitely an important one! The more people who are aware of what domestic abuse is, the better. Abuse, in all forms, is always such a hard thing to talk about, whether you’ve been a victim to it or not. Its a sort of taboo and heavy topic that most people want to avoid, but doing that never helps the problem. That’s why I love when authors take on such important topics like this in their work. It helps bring more awareness into the world.

However, as important as the topics may be in this book, the delivery of this story was done very poorly. This story is written from a third  perspective – an outside point of view. The narrative had a sort of monotonous tone to it -not very lively at all and just so impersonal. The writing style made it very hard for me to even complete the story.

With the way this story was constructed, it didn’t really allow a lot of room for dialogue, but the little we did get here and there felt stiff and unnatural. There wasn’t very much depth to the story or the characters, everything sort of felt like it was left on the surface. So, It was difficult for me to feel emotionally connected to anything, which is a huge let down since this book is built on such extremely emotional topics. The lack of character build up made everything feel very rushed. Take the romance, for example. It feels like it goes from 0 – 100, which was pretty shocking considering the MC’s dark past. There just wasn’t much of a build between them; almost as soon as Vikki begins working for Robert, they become intimate.

This honestly felt more like an outline to a story rather than an actual finished copy. This book has so much potential, if only the author would have approached it differently, and with a bit more feeling. Unfortunately, I just could not connect to it at all.

**** Thank you to Booktasters for introducing me to this authour, and thank you to S. T. Collins for giving me the chance to review her work. **** 

First blog post

Hello, and welcome! My name is Courtney. I’m a bookworm from New Jersey and this is my (first ever) bookish blog.

I’ve been in love with reading for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until 2016 that I really started becoming part of the amazing online book community. I started out writing reviews on Goodread’s and then I branched out to Amazon, twitter and eventually became a reviewer on Netgalley. Somewhere between all of that I discovered and fell in love with the bookstagram world and couldn’t help but make my very own account. Through all of this, I’ve been exposed to so many awesome book blogs over the last couple of years and they’ve all inspired me to make one for myself. I decided that I wanted to take a step up from “consumer reviewer” to “blogger” – So, here I am!

The idea of running a blog of my own is still a bit intimidating, but I know that if I don’t at least give it a try, then I’ll never know if its for me or not. As a first time blogger I’m not entirely sure of what I’d like to accomplish with my site just yet. Mostly, I want a place where I can combine all of my reviews, bookish pictures and reading goals, while having easier access to other bookish sites. I’d also love to host some author interviews in the future and make more bookish friends, of course! As for now, however, I’m still trying to figure out the basics of blogging – so please bear with me! Haha.

I suppose what you can expect from my blog will be:
1) Reviews of books I’ve read and of those I’ll read in the future.
2) Owlcrate unboxings and discussions.

Besides that, I’m not sure what else. I know that I’ll be trying out different things here and there, experimenting and trying to get a better feel for all this, until I find my own rhythm.

Please feel free to share any sort of blogging tips or advice if you have any- I would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you again for visiting my page – it means a lot to me! Besides befriending me here, you could also follow me on:
| Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon | Instagram |