Wednesday 30 November 2016

Book Review: Finding Jennifer Jonas by Anne Cassidy

Can we lose her again?

Kate Rickman seems just like any other nineteen-year-old girl. She goes to university, she dates nice, normal boys and she works in her local tourist office at the weekend. But Kate's not really normal at all. 'Kate' is in fact a carefully constructed facade for a girl called Jennifer Jones - and it's a facade that's crumbling fast. 

Jennifer has spent the last nine years frantically trying to escape from her horrifying past. Increasingly desperate, Jennifer decides to do something drastic. She contacts the only other girl who might understand what she's dealing with, breaking every rule of her parole along the way. Lucy Bussell is the last person Jennifer expects any sympathy from, but she's also the last person she has left.

This is one the best example of pointless sequels. This sequel really adds nothing to the story and the fact it came as part of the first book's 10 year adversay just make me think that Anne Cassidy didn't have a story about JJ in her and forced one out instead. There are things resolved from the first book, perhaps because readers kept pointing out. For the point of ease I'm just gonna call our protagonist JJ in this review. I have a review of the first book if you're interested in that rather than the sequel.

Even though JJ has sworn off relationships, of course there's a romance. He treats her better than last one, so obviously she not that invested in him. I know Frankie was her first love, but she was a 16 year old who thought about breaking up with him often (and should have), then the did the deed because virginity is always made out to be a big deal in all media. I mean  this attitude isn't really about Frankie and more JJ has decided to be a loner and just let depression take her. 

This book's lesson is that depression makes people do incredible dumb stuff. JJ unhappy so decides to put her way of life in danger for no real reason and no play off. In this book, the journalist that found her in the last book has comes back with a book which would have been, the meta interesting thing to have released for the 10th anniversary and it would have been a lot more interesting. The idiot that JJ is, she never reads this book which could have contain all the answers she was wondering about. The fact she didn't, makes me think it does fact contains the answers to the universe.

A lot of stuff happens in this book and then is immediately dropped.There is a random murder in this book and JJ shows she somehow doesn't know how the police work, despite all her encounters.

Overall, I give this 2/5 stars for sandy cliffs. The ending is really stupid to match what an idiot she is. Feelings of lack of identity is an interesting thing to explored but its not a decent length. I just don't think book add anything to JJ's journey.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Book Review: Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy

I was never caught for my childhood murders and I never will be. *Evil Laughter*

Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of the town towards Berwick Waters. Later that day only two of them came back. Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago - though it's still hard for her to believe it's real. The images, the sounds and the aftermath are imprinted on her memory. She'll never be able to forget, even though she's trying to lead a normal life. She's making a go of things, putting her past behind her at last. But Alice's past is dangerous, and violent, and sad - and it's about to rip her new life apart.

This book big selling point is its about a child killer, as someone who killed someone when they were a child. I forget when it actually discoursed in the book that what Alice has done but it not spoiler as this standout feature of this book.

The plot is mostly made up with her new daily life and constant threat she will be discovered. Her murder was big news event meaning now she been released they are people looking for her for a cash grab. Ar...the horror of 00s newspaper, slowly becoming aware of their dying. 

The book is made up of the present with flashbacks to the past to explain what lead to the murder. This works well and the past is mixed well though out the present narrative.

Alice is a our main character who starts her life anew at the age of 16. She a sympathetic character and I wanted things to turn out well for her. The characters were realistic, except for the victim. She a emotional manipulating bully and a spoilt brat. There's never any more depth to her, therefore it doesn't feel like she actually killed a person. Alice is a flawed character and justifying her murder by having the person she kill be so detestable takes away from the horror JJ feels after her crime and the realism. 

Alice does become unlikable as she never chooses to tell anyone her reason for going to the lake that day which I get at the start but at certain point I don't get why she continues to kept it a secret. She loses her reason pretty quickly and it could effect more people than just her.

Alice's boyfriend, Frankie is a fail that kept distracting to me. In this book for some reason, uni is called college despite being set in England. He is in his third year, meaning he's like 21 year old. At least 20 to Alice's 16. That's four years difference during major development years. I know Alice has got a her A levels and is ready for uni when she 17. This is more noticeable since he controlling arse. The thing is we are meant to feel for this relationship as though it would be sad if Alice was separated from him, where I'm thinking she should break up with him. Was this seen as acceptable 10 years?

I did not like this voice actor at all. I think it might have just been personal taste, but I did not appreciated her character choices. I hoping for a better actor in the next book as I know they are different actors for that one.

Overall, I gave this book 3/5 stars for nude dolls. The novel has a good idea, but they were some hiccups in the execution of it. I'm aware of the time period it was written, but still I rated as someone who would have been just ageing into target market upon its release. I probably would have liked at the time as it does feature a ten old killing someone, but that probably why I don't the get the shock or Tune in next week for the Review of the sequel.

Book Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

I believe Burnet was born in a field. Okay, he was actually born in place that my SatNav says horribly wrong.

The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. 

A memoir written by the accused makes its clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country's finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciles acts of violence. 

Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows. 

Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmersing literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.

I love the number of blurbs this book has without any reference to Scotland there is. Whitewashing strikes again.  Honestly, its odd because it is extremely Scottish in themes and location. 19th Century Highlands was a special place of sadness which comes up in the plot.

This is the found footage of books, but luckily shakey cam is not recreated in this. It's made up of "Historical" documents mostly made up of Roddy own account of what lead him to the murders as well as summary of newspapers and witness accounts. This in the style of other faked documents, except without the deception of by a know killer, like the several apparent diaries of Jack the Ripper that I have read and its done very well.

This is not a book answers, that way it actually like history. I have tons of questions, I know very little facts about the plot of this book. Its written really well as historical thing (in opinion of someone who reads that stuff sometimes). That does make it a very dry in places with words no longer in use.

Overall, I give this 4/5 stars for digging peat. I liked this book, and now I'm going to tell people its YA book to see if anyone will believe me with that title. It was an interesting look at this time period.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I don't even like alcohol. The taste or the effect.

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

Ar the awkward the experience of having a main character with the same name as you. Correct spelling and all. You probably heard about about this book by now, especially as the film adaptation is currently in theatres as I type. The big thing is this has been compared to is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn which I have yet to read, I will compare it to this instead or I might just straight disagree. The question is does meet up to the hype. The answer is mostly 'Yes'.

The novel is mostly told from Rachel present POV with Megan POV of the past. Rachel is drunk often and has blackouts so we can't trust her narrative. Megan just leaves giant chunks out for no real reason other mystery and plot. 

The plot is mostly just Rachel stumbling around drunk. While not being a obvious, it's all very convenient. In terms of matching up all the narratives, they was a point that felt would have been better if we had gotten a vital piece of information in the other narrative and I would have changed them around personally, but each to their own and I'm clearly not a best selling author. I get what the Hawkins was going for but the solution didn't really work for me fully. I just don't buy it. The ending was rather meh.

The characters were okay. They all meant to be flawed and I think this is done in the realistic way. I've seen on Goodreads that a lot of people straight up hated them, but honesty, while they do unlikable and regrettable things I don't get the hate for all of them. I hated Anna, but pretty sure you're meant to. Rachel's ex-Husband Tom is totally unappealing and I don't get why anyone would want him, never mind two women.

I listened to the Audio book with

Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars for canned gin. I enjoyed listening to this novel. Definitely over hyped but also a decent Thriller novel so I would recommend it if that what you like to read. 

Saturday 12 November 2016

Unfinished starts: Camra

I brought a camera yesterday. Did I spend too much money on it? Perhaps. Did I go overboard? Most definitely. I ordered five lenses, but three of them having arrived yet. I've been thinking of getting a camera before I even started uni.

Falling Dimension

I haven't forgot about you. I have given up the pretence that I have been writing posts every week. Its not a lack of having anything to say. It isn't even that I haven't had time. I've just been life writing stump where I go to write and then get stuck. I'm back to writing reviews by forcing them out with the Knowledge that I'm current;y sitting on the number of reviews that are left in the year. But I have wrote the ones enough the rest of November so November will have reviews for the rest of the year.

I will make myself write the reviews for the rest of the year. The terrible thing is the one I have negated to write for almost ten months. I might leave it for last for kicks. Uni is still going. Making films and learning about film. I got taught about Sigmund Freud's theory about men having a fear being castigated because women don't have a penis therefore it was cut off. Yeah, literally no idea what that has to do with horror, which what we were meant to be learning about. I mean Freud has been mostly discredited and is the one with the mother issues. Mutilation of the genitalia is horrifying, but I don't think Freud's theory should be taught in any class, unless it directly influences a film. We also watched the Psycho remake It is god awful. He mess up the iconic scene so much. I know everyone knows the twist by now, as it is a iconic film and has had a massive influence, but that doesn't mean you give up on it if you going to go to the effect of a remake.

I honestly don't get what Freud's theory about Castration anxiety had to do with the appeal of Horror. He's came up before in another class,though that was the ego and the id which are probably nonsense but is fiction not all nonsense. That being said I don't want to be taught seriously the theories of a man who thought all women wanted to be men and that everyone fancies their mothers. Penis Envy is not a real thing. Yes, they are transgender men but no one thinks that a penis was taken from them at birth. Oh, it would blown his mind to know that in fact we start out we all start out as female in the womb. It is just Freud pushing his own, sexist ideas on other people.

That was weird route to go down. Have you missed the nonsense of my own brain? The world has became more horrifying since we last spoke like this. Clowns attacking people and Lex Luther is on his way to be president, with no Batman or Superman.We live in a terrible dimension. I would like to collide with another dimension at this point.

I recently came to the realisation I don't really know what horror is in the written form. Horror in film is obvious due it format. Horror in books, especially as supernatural and thrillers are their own genres in books and I am immune to fake fear apparently. People tell me that they find films I find laughable scary. I can't even see it.

In summary I'm making a horror film and I don't know if its going to be remotely scary. But it will follow the format. I'm running out of things to say so I shall leave now. I am here and on the YouTube. See me there.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Book Review: The Unforgotten by Laura Powell

It ain't a serial killer without a type.

It's 1956 and fifteen-year-old Betty Broadbent has never left the Cornish fishing village of St Steele or ventured far beyond the walls of the boarding house run by her erratic mother. But when the London press pack descends to report on a series of gruesome murders of young women, Betty's world changes. In particular she is transfixed by mysterious and aloof reporter, Mr Gallagher. As the death toll rises, an unlikely friendship blossoms between Betty and Gallagher. But as their bond deepens, they find themselves entangled with the murders and each is forced to make a devastating choice, one that will shape their own lives - and the life of an innocent man - forever.

The only reason I finished this novel was that I wanted to know if I was right about the plot. I didn't fully read the summary before I started listening to it because I was in a hurry to find an audio book  for the long drive home. If I had read the whole description, then I wouldn't have pick it up. It doesn't help that Laura Powell has the same name as another writer, who I thought this was when I picked it up. This is made more confusing by the fact they both British with Welsh links. This is (one of the reasons) why pen names are a thing.

The opening is really strong, introducing us to Betty and what's the situation going on within the village. It really hooked me in.  However, then the next chapter is a flash forward to 2006 Mary, a pathetic 65 year old that has no motivation and is waiting for the sweet kiss of death. Except for revealing what happened in 1956, I didn't care what went down in these chapters involving Mary. Especially, as1956 Mary is completely unlikable without a redeemable thing about her and 2006 Mary is the same.

The biggest problem is the characters. They are all terrible, uninteresting people who only grow more unlikable the more time you're forced to spend with them. I liked and was invested in Betty in the beginning but this was ruined half way into this book. She starts as a capable 15 year old who often left to run a hotel by herself due to her mentally ill mother. The complicated nature of her relationship with mother, who is most likely Bipolar, was done really well. The more the book goes on the more Betty becomes like the other characters who are whinny and bland. You can have unlikable characters, but they should be distinct from each other. 

An another big issue is the romance. Even if you look past that Gallagher is double the age of an underaged Betty, he is still terrible to her. He's all we can't do this but keeps doing it while being a jerk to her. The plot largely rides on this relationship and the Betty we get at the beginning disappears into him. While some people do start relationships and change into them, Betty is gone immediately for plot reasons. It some what mixed signals about whether we are meant to like this relationship or not. I get the feeling we are, in the beginning Gallagher is described as younger, so you don't realise that he middle age for this time period straight away.  I'm almost anti-romance in books in general, so this might be less of an issue for some other people, but Gallagher is still a grown arse man who blames everything on a 15 year old and still gets to play hero.

The plot in theory is really good, but the execution is weak. I honesty don't think anything is gained by having parts set in 2000s. A lot of the better parts of plot go undeveloped and the ending is rushed. I figured out the ending and thought it would actually be really good until we got there. Then it was unsatisfying and Betty has no agency at all. Yes, she directs the plot but its to kick someone else into gear. The mystery is what actual mystery are like, you don't know who it is until they tell you. I did figure it out but this more random guessing. This hard to explain without spoiling but I will try my best. I have a really big issue with the solution. I totally believe it, it works. However, we get no overshadowing so it ends up being lazy and stereotypical.

I listen to this on audio book and I wouldn't recommend it. Not sure if it was the voice actress
or the writing but parts often sounded like audio description. I lean towards writing, as we got sentences for actions e.g. Betty put her shoes on. The main reason I would suggest reading over listening is I often had to rewind back to clarify what was said. The end was especially bad for this but I think is mainly to do with the ending being rushed.

Overall, I give this book 2/5 stars for Missing Knifes. There's an interesting idea here, but the execution is done terribly. Some things are done well which I wished more time spent on these aspects. As this is Powell's debut novel I'm incline to be more forgiving, e.g. maybe she doesn't realise than none of the female character has any real agency. There's definitely a good novel in her. This isn't it- for me at least. I would read her again if the plot was right.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Book Review: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy

Odd to have the end of the book in the blurb.

My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped. 

Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. She does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than her best friend, Patrice. Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down. This is Stacey's story.  

This is a book joining a number of YA books that have recently came out dealing with rape and can't help but compare it to those brilliant books. It differers in that just deals with the immediate time around the rape and is set in England. It also written by a author that I have read (and reviewed) tons by.

My favourite part of the book is that the surrounding plot is a parody of the way so many YA romance books go, where the protagonist trusts a complete stranger and has a magical adventure so this book acts as caution story as in not to follow their lead.

The book is from Stacy POV looking back at the events surrounding her Rape and the things that followed it. I think it could have been more reflective as that was the best of the book.

Stacy has the dream of becoming of a fashion designer. This is basically just the standard 'want' so that Stacey has something to flipflop over during the process of the book. It does actually functions a lot in the plot. Stacy doesn't have much personality besides her relationship problems.

Overall, I give this novel 3/5 stars for scrap material. This is a short book dealing with a serious issue, while doing an okay job of exploring it. However, it pales to next to the other books with the same themes and almost feels like a manual on the important notes on rape, rather a story about Stacy. It important that books like this exist aimed at teenagers so that makes it great. 

I got this book for review off NetGalley and is being published by Hot Key Books on