Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Babysitter's Coven

First off, I wish I had been as cool as these characters when I was in high school. Their humor, style, and wit is something I wish I had been blessed with. Esme and Janice run their very own Babysitter's Club, that's right, just like in the books. They have a burner phone and everything. The only problem is Janice is pretty much over it and Esme might be all on her own, babysitting just isn't as cool in high school anymore. Enter the new girl, Cassandra. She finds out about their little club and begs to join claiming tons of "experience." After she freaks out over a two year old's poop, it's clear to everyone that Cassandra isn't quite cut out for babysitting, but she did have an ulterior motive. She finds a note from her mother (long dead) telling her to find the babysitters, and she and Esme might have something "magical" in common. Cheesy, totally implausible and fun. It's like Buffy meets Sabrina and it's a ton of fun. I look forward to the sequel!

The Burger Chef Murders in Indiana

I wasn't alive when the Burger Chef murders occurred, but over the years I've heard the murders come up in conversation and having grown up by Chicago; I wasn't all that familiar with what actually happened. Julie Young does an excellent job of setting the scene and not attempting to "solve" the crime four decades later; she's not trying to do a disservice to the police and authorities who toiled over the case, she's merely bringing it to life and trying to make the most comprehensive outline of what is actually known about the gruesome murders. Four young adults and teenagers were abducted from their work and later found murdered. No one has ever been tried or convicted for their deaths. It's dark and fascinating and I'm glad I actually know about this infamous Hoosier quadruple homicide. As a Franklin resident who works in New Whiteland; it was also fascinating to learn about all the Johnson County connections that I didn't know existed in this case. A must read for true crime fans!

The Bookshop on the Corner

Sweet and fluffy; this light read is perfect for bibliophiles. When an English librarian finds herself without a job she decides to be bold for once in her life and do something rash; open a bookstore. She obviously can't afford to rent property but she finds this perfect old van up in Scotland that might be perfect for a mobile bookshop. Throwing caution to the wind she buys the van, moves to Scotland, and starts to fall for a sexy Latvian train conductor. Her dream is coming true! Only, Nina is discovering that there are a lot of road blocks and detours and nothing in life is easy, it's about finding the courage for what you believe in. Romantic and cute, a great beach read!

The Institute

Man I could not put this book down! If you're looking for straight up Stephen King horror, it won't be found in this book. However if you're looking for complex characters, stomach turning scenarios, good vs. evil, and some bad ass kids; then this is the book for you. Alternating between Tim, a "retired cop" who is just floating through life and ends up in a dead end town working as a night knocker and Luke, a kid with IQ off the charts, who has been kidnapped and taken to The Institute. The Institute won't be found on any map, and no one has heard of it; but they specialize in kidnapping children who have telekinesis and telepathy and experimenting on them and using them for "nefarious" reasons. Luke and Tim have very different stories, but they may just find themselves crossing paths. Hard to put down, and expertly plotted; a unique story and I loved the children's perspectives and voice. Another Stephen King spectacular!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One

Overall I liked this poetry collection. It's empowering, emotional, and heavy. Like the previous two collections it deals with abuse, trauma, assault, and suicide. It's pretty heavy; but despite that, still uplifting and hopeful. Confronting the hard truths and the ugly side of our lives, makes it easier to move on to acceptance and healing. Some poems were more powerful than others and resonated, but I didn't feel that about every poem in the collection. If you've read the first two, definitely wrap it up with this one.

The Testaments

I am always SUPER SKEPTICAL when authors decide to publish a sequel that has been a standalone for decades. I didn't go in to this with high hopes because in my mind The Handmaid's Tale was perfectly amazing as a standalone and I didn't want Atwood to tarnish the original. Boy was I wrong. Atwood more than delivered. The Testaments isn't a sequel per se, but it involves Gilead and a few of the hated Aunts as well as a few other recognizable characters. It picks up a couple years after The Handmaid's Tale but follows three different threads. Aunt Lydia, Nicole, and Agnes; an aunt, a teenager living in Canada, and a young Gilead school girl. By the end of the stories those three characters will be so entangled and will change each others lives forever. Truly as magical as the first one and really rounds out the terrifying world of Gilead! Pleasantly surprised, one I would read again!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Stumptown: Volume Four

This is really a 3.5, but I'm rounding up to a 4. So far this has been the weakest for me because it seemed the least "plausible." Coffee? Barista mafia? Come on now. I can suspend belief for a lot but that is crossing a line. Dex is hired to ferry some VERY expensive coffee from the plane to her client's house. She keeps getting harassed by coffee snobs who want to bribe her (or beat her) to get some of the coffee beans for themselves. It's getting out of hand and Dex is getting pissed. To make matters worse her freeloading sister, Fuji, has dropped in unannounced and plans on crashing for as long as she can. Tensions run high at home and work isn't making anything better. Far fetched, but still enjoyable.