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1. ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is “Intense” and “Ritualistic”

Reviews of Cursed Child have been dominating muggle news, and the Cursed Child Twitter page have not been ignoring the love.

Following our pervious article on the review snippets that the @HPPlayLDN Twitter page has been sharing, we’re covering a few more of the newest reviews and photo releases from the Cursed Child website to get you excited for the Cursed Child official opening and script book release in just a few days time!

24 new photos of the play have been released, and SnitchSeeker have compiled them into an article here. In an effort to ‘keep the secrets’, some have been omitted in this article, so check out Snitchseeker’s gallery here for more.

Unsurprisingly, Time Out describe the play as “intense” and “ritualistic” as a result of Steven Hoggett’s ‘startling movement direction’. Judging from the captivating air of the Harry Potter soundtrack, and the latest Fantastic Beasts trailer, it’s hard to believe that a play – being so involving and close to the audience – would be any less enchanting!

@HPPlayLDN posted this review, with a photo of what appears to be students swooshing their robes, potentially jumping, or perhaps disapparating? Take a look below:

The play’s composer, Imogen Heap, was commended for her ‘light-synths harmonies’ by The Radio Times: 

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Photo from Pottermore

The Times also praised Christine Jones’ set design, which, judging from previous sneak peaks (which you can view here) is well deserved!

Illusions, costumes and lighting were also commended by The Guardian:

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Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione do a great job of conjuring audience nostalgia. The New York Times gives a shining review, saying the following of the talent of the cast and crew:

I reread “The Deathly Hallows” on the flight to London from New York, and I was amazed at how naturally what I saw on the stage seemed to flow from the page. Mr. Thorne, Mr. Tiffany and their movement director, Steven Hoggett, and set designer, Christine Jones, collaborated previously on the chilling adolescent vampire play “Let the Right One In,” and they are all expert in mapping the intersection of the uncanny and the everyday.

 Along with a team that includes Katrina Lindsay (costumes), Neil Austin (lighting) and Imogen Heap (music), Mr. Tiffany and his cast conjure the self-contained world(s) of Ms. Rowling’s books with imagistic wit, precision and, occasionally, stark terror. A convocation of wizards is evoked through the simultaneous swirling of black capes; an otherworldly, xenophobic and unsettlingly topical-feeling Fascist brigade materializes and multiplies out of yawning darkness; and staircases, bookcases and suitcases assume varied and miraculous lives that propel both themes and story.

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Check out more reviews of Cursed Child here!

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2. DC Reborn Week Five– Ranking the Rebirth Books & Round Up

SupesBannerAlex Lu and Kyle Pinion round up this week's Rebirth reviews and rank the first month of releases!

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3. REVIEW: SNOTGIRL #1 Will Blow Your Nose Off!!!

snotgirl_lgAlex Lu takes a look at SNOTGIRL #1, the first ongoing comic from SCOTT PILGRIM writer Bryan Lee O'Malley that introduces the singular Leslie Hung on art!

1 Comments on REVIEW: SNOTGIRL #1 Will Blow Your Nose Off!!!, last added: 6/24/2016
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4. DC Reborn Week Four– The Round Up and Buy Guide!

WWBannerAnother week, another round up!

0 Comments on DC Reborn Week Four– The Round Up and Buy Guide! as of 1/1/1900
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5. DC Reborn Week Four– The Round Up and Buy Guide!

WWBannerAnother week, another round up!

0 Comments on DC Reborn Week Four– The Round Up and Buy Guide! as of 6/22/2016 7:45:00 PM
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6. DC Reborn Review– DETECTIVE COMICS #935 is Definitely Beautiful, But is it Overwritten?

DetectBannerJoin Kyle Pinion and Alex Lu as they dive into DETECTIVE COMICS #935!

1 Comments on DC Reborn Review– DETECTIVE COMICS #935 is Definitely Beautiful, But is it Overwritten?, last added: 6/23/2016
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7. DC Reborn Review– Like Land and Sea, We Stand Divided on AQUAMAN #1

AquamanBannerAlex Lu and Kyle Pinion examine the latest attempt to launch a solid AQUAMAN story.

0 Comments on DC Reborn Review– Like Land and Sea, We Stand Divided on AQUAMAN #1 as of 6/22/2016 11:13:00 AM
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8. DC Reborn Review– ACTION COMICS #958 Turns the Volume Up to Eleven in the Most Metal Superman Story Yet

ACBannerThe world has been reborn. Last month’s release of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 kicked off a new era of storytelling for the publisher.  The house that gave us Batman and Superman is looking to make up for the mistakes of the New 52 canonical reboot, reinstating old plot points that were erased from their timeline and even bringing back […]

3 Comments on DC Reborn Review– ACTION COMICS #958 Turns the Volume Up to Eleven in the Most Metal Superman Story Yet, last added: 6/23/2016
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9. DC Reborn– Week Two: Reviewing ACTION COMICS, AQUAMAN, DETECTIVE COMICS, FLASH, & WONDER WOMAN

RebirthBannerThe world has been reborn. Last week’s release of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 kicked off a new era of storytelling for the publisher.  The house that gave us Batman and Superman is looking to make up for the mistakes of the New 52 canonical reboot, reinstating old plot points that were erased from their timeline and even bringing back […]

8 Comments on DC Reborn– Week Two: Reviewing ACTION COMICS, AQUAMAN, DETECTIVE COMICS, FLASH, & WONDER WOMAN, last added: 6/10/2016
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10. DC Reborn– Week One: Should You Buy BATMAN, GREEN ARROW, SUPERMAN, or GREEN LANTERNS?

SupermanRebirthBannerAlex Lu and Kyle Pinion dig into the first week of DC's Rebirth #1s to tell you which books break new ground and which stay mired in DC's troubled past.

6 Comments on DC Reborn– Week One: Should You Buy BATMAN, GREEN ARROW, SUPERMAN, or GREEN LANTERNS?, last added: 6/4/2016
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11. Review: Air by Ryan Gattis

Title: Air
Author:  Ryan Gattis 
Publisher:Adaptive BooksPublication date: June 7, 2016

Stars: 3.5

Summary: After 17-year-old Grey witnesses the tragic death of his mother in Colorado, he is shipped off to live with his aunt in inner-city Baltimore, where he struggles to fit in to a new school and community. His new friend Akil introduces him to the enigmatic Kurtis, the leader of a group that uses high-octane sports as a form of social activism. By challenging the police with death-defying stunts and posting videos of them online, Kurtis, Grey, and their group become unlikely heroes in the fight against the prejudice that surrounds them.
As Kurtis takes Grey under his wing, they create a group name, an insignia, and a cause attracting more and more followers as they post videos of their extreme acts. The lines between social activism and criminal behavior blur and their escalating stunts become a rallying point for the underprivileged and disenfranchised around the country, spreading like wildfire across the Internet. How far will Grey and Kurtis go to push their message, and can their friendship withstand their growing notoriety?
Review:Taking a look inside the mind of a 17 year old, Grey, and his friend as they endure a series of questionable events. After many changes in Grey’s life, he finds himself in situations encouraging his controversial behavior via the internet.

As a book intended to entertain, the sequences of action and thrill of the ride as Grey continued to push his own boundaries will keep you hooked. People can connect with a lot of the feelings portrayed by Grey when life hits it’s hard times. Life lessons in this novel being portrayed through the eyes of a young man brings personal nostalgia from a period in time most everyone can recognize as how we learn who we are and where our places in life might be. Bringing in many elements of today’s world, it is easy to remain connected to characters realistic and probable lives. A good, easy read for those looking for a modern novel to entertain on many levels. 

-Alissa

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12. Roundtable Review: DC Universe REBIRTH #1

REbirthDC“I look down at it and know without question: I love this world. But there’s something missing.” In the five years since DC Comics rebooted their universe through the Flashpoint event and New 52 line, the oldest major comics publisher in America has seen its fortunes fall. After being barraged with complaints about homogeneous artwork, constant […]

10 Comments on Roundtable Review: DC Universe REBIRTH #1, last added: 5/27/2016
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13. Podcorn Podcast– Reviewing DC Comics’ REBIRTH #1

RebirthHeroSpreadGeoff Johns wants to bring hope back to the DC Universe. Does he succeed?

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14. Timothy Spall Is Back On Stage

This week, Playbill announced that Harry Potter actor Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew) has returned to the stage after a 19-year hiatus.  He features in a revival production of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker as the homeless vagabond, Davies.

The play, directed by Matthew Warchus, is in production at the Old Vic Theatre in London until May 14.  BBC News writes that Timothy Spall’s reviews are mostly positive, pulling quotes from reviewers at The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, and The Guardian, among others.

In her review, Sarah Carson of the Radio Times writes,

Spall fills the creaking, cluttered attic in which all the action takes place with tales of his far-flung friends; his lifelong mistreatment; his various monikers; and his ‘papers’ – with a man down in Sidcup, apparently, to be collected anon. Early in the play, his performance has echoes of a regrettably over-friendly exchange with a stranger on a bus. His Davies has a Faginesque quality, brilliantly physically comic if without much subtlety. Lines are replete with guttural outbursts that win cackles from the audience.

Several reviewers described this production of The Caretaker as a strong outlet for Timothy Spall’s talent at portraying odd characters using physical comedy.  The Old Vic created a trailer, which can be seen below.

Follow the links above to read more, or visit The Old Vic to purchase tickets.

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15. We're There

I read hundreds of new picture books every year. Some are dreadful. Most are good. A few are great. And occasionally, a very special book or two makes you want to grab people on the street and tell them about the amazing new book you just read.

Like this one.

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat accomplishes so much between the covers of a picture book.

It's daring, dynamic and filled with a multitude of meanings. The art blends several styles simultaneously. The colors are bold, brilliant and constantly surprising. It's beautiful, fun, silly, and touching all at the same time.

The constant change from gorgeous full page spreads to small graphic novel panels is arresting. The devices used to keep the reader going in the right direction are creative and well-employed. It's very fun to hand this book to other people and watch the book turn around and around as they figure out how to read it for the first time.

And the details! How I love all the tiny, little creative details hidden in nearly every page. The color contrasts. The facial expressions. The endpapers. The outfits the parents wear. What is hidden underneath the dust jacket. On and on and on. Every time I read it, I find so many more fantastic details.

I don't want to call it a follow-up to Beekle, because I don't want to compare it to Beekle at all. It feels like every time a successful author has a new book, it is inevitably compared to their past achievements. I thought it might be refreshing to talk about the new book without the comparisons.

Disclaimer: I've probably read and studied Beekle far more than the average bear (or human) since I was a member of the committee that awarded Beekle the Caldecott Medal, so truly, this isn't about a lack of familiarity with Beekle.

Try reading this one aloud. There's so much brilliance in the text. The overarching words about the road and where life may lead you could almost be taken out and read separately from the pictures and still be poignant. And the speech bubbles are in the language that children speak and and are funny on another level.

Give this book a try. Take your time.

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16. The Beat’s Weekly Toy Review & Preview!

CoverBy: Nicholas Eskey Welcome back to another exciting episode of “The Beat’s Weekly Toy Review & Preview! We have a humdinger of an episode today kids, as a lot of collectible figures have been announced recently. Since I couldn’t narrow my favorites down to a short list, be prepared for a longer than usual post. […]

1 Comments on The Beat’s Weekly Toy Review & Preview!, last added: 3/15/2016
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17. The Battle of Darcy Lane by Tara Altebrando



The Battle of Darcy Lane by Tara Altebrando is a great pick for our middle school readers!

All Julia really wanted to do this summer was hang out with her best friend, Taylor - and maybe her neighbor/friend/secret crush Peter, too. Then Alyssa moves into the neighborhood. Julia immediately doesn't like her; Taylor does. And just like that, Julia's best friend has a new friend, and Julia has a rival.

Alyssa is really into a ball-bouncing game called Russia. At first, Julia doesn't care for it, but then she realizes that she might be able to beat Alyssa at her own game. Over the course of the summer, while Julia tries to hang on to her friendship with Taylor, she also attends band camp, bonds with Peter over a TV show she's not supposed to watch, and challenges Alyssa to an epic game of Russia. She also avoids cicadas and tries to talk her parents into letting her move into a different room in their house.

Julia's an only child, born to parents who love her and - get this - love each other. It's refreshing to read a book in which the parents are happy together, and it's wonderful to see how the child reacts to that relationship. In this case, Julia feels left out, not only because she is the youngest member of the household AND the only kid AND she has to go to bed earlier than her parents, but also because her parents are so close, she feels like there's no room for her sometimes - like she's interrupting something. There's a beautiful moment in which Julia overhears her parents talking outside, their voices drifting up to her window:

They were laughing a lot, and they sounded like something other than a husband and wife, something other than a mom and dad: they sounded like best friends.

Not only does this perfectly capture their relationship, it also ties back to Julia's concerns about her own best friend. Taylor is spending more and more time with Alyssa and less time with Julia. Teasing, confusion, and jealousy ensue. (Goodness, I don't miss middle school!) But thankfully, instead of being your typical mean girl story, this book offers something more plausible, something more satisfying and more age-appropriate, with the Russia showdown and the additional revelations in the denouement.

The Battle of Darcy Lane is a solid story for young readers. It's kind of like a modern-day Now and Then. Julia tries to test the boundaries a little a couple of times, and she sometimes struggles over the right thing to do, but overall, she has a pretty good head on her shoulders. Though the word "tweens" or the term "tween fiction" may not appeal to everyone, it's appropriate when you consider what it means: between. When you're eleven and twelve, you might feel trapped between your little kid years and your teens, torn between wanting to feel more grown up and wanting to stay a kid. This is best exemplified by the scenes in which Julia feels compelled to put away her dolls and knickknacks, even though she still kind of likes them.

Tara Altebrando has a knack for depicting honest relationships between protagonists and their families and friends, and I regularly recommend her YA books to teens looking for realistic modern-day stories. Now I can give The Battle of Darcy Lane to slightly younger readers. I also plan to read her other middle grade novel, My Life in Dioramas.

And who knows - maybe I'll have the opportunity to play Russia somewhere along the way, too.

This review was originally published at Bildungsroman.

The end of the book includes instructions on how to play the ball-bouncing game referred to as Russia or Onesies, Twosies. I also found instructions at the website howstuffworks.com. Have fun!


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18. The Marvel Rundown: The Weak Point in Marvel’s Line-up is not the Return of Karnak

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 12.21.42 PMWelcome Karnak back to the Marvel Universe in style.

3 Comments on The Marvel Rundown: The Weak Point in Marvel’s Line-up is not the Return of Karnak, last added: 2/26/2016
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19. Review: Dreaming Death by J Kathleen Cheney

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I wanted to read Dreaming Death because it sounded different.  I was in a bit of a rut last year, sticking with the tried and true and reading a lot of series romance.  I decided that for this year, I would switch it up, and read a mix of genres.  I am loving the urban fantasy titles I’ve picked up, and was hoping for the same success with this fantasy.  While parts of it were fascinating, I had a huge problem with one of the characters, and it marred my enjoyment of the book.

This is an interesting premise.  Unfortunately, I found Mikael to be a spineless wimp, at least until he met Shironne, and Kai was a sullen turd. I shudder at the thought of grudge-holding Kai being the next king.  He is the favorite of the king to take control of the throne, and all I could think was, “That’s the best candidate you have?”  Ugh!  I didn’t buy the reasons for his behavior, and just thought he was being immature and petty.  I hated this guy, and it was a struggle to get through scenes he was part of.

This is a fantasy with mystery elements. Mikael keeps dreaming of other people’s deaths, and because he broadcasts his thoughts so loudly, all of the sensitives in town share his dreams. Shironne is a touch sensitive; she is able to read the thoughts and feelings of others with a touch. She can even read the thoughts of dead people, so she’s been helping the army solve murder cases. When a string of blood sacrifices leave a steadily growing number of corpses around the city, Shironne and Mikael are desperate to locate the killers. Mikael dreams of the deaths, and Shironne gathers clues from the bodies as they hunt the criminals before they kill again.

The magic system was interesting, but the world building was confusing. I still don’t really understand the difference between the Houses and the Families, but maybe that will be made more clear in the next book?  Mikael can project his dreams, and unfortunately, he dreams about people being murdered.  His disturbing, emotional visions are broadcast to the sensitives in town, leaving them frightened and unsettled.  They hate him for it, so he goes to a local tavern whenever he feels a dream coming on, and drinks himself senseless in an effort to dampen the intensity of his dreams.  That doesn’t really work, and because the dreams leave him injured and shaken, he’s not in the best shape to be alone, but he refuses to seek help, afraid he’ll be kicked out of the House he’s currently part of.

For me, Shironne was the saving grace.  She’s incredibly powerful, but she is mindful not to use her abilities recklessly.  She understands the importance of keeping the secrets and privacy of people around her.  Her powers have rendered her blind, but don’t think for an instant that she’s helpless or weak, because she’s not.  Shironne is the strongest character in the book, and it wasn’t all because of her abilities.  She is level-headed, intelligent, and able to think her way out of dangerous situations.  She deals with the grisly corpses with courage and determination, realizing that if she can’t unmask the identity of the murderer, more people will die painfully, and she’ll have to watch through Mikael’s dreams.

My opinion of Mikael improved immensely once he and Shironne meet.  Until then, I had a hard time liking him.  He seemed to be enjoying his pity party a little too much.  I never changed my opinion of Kai.  He remained obnoxious and immature to the very end of the book.  Unfortunately, he took away some of my enjoyment for the story.

Grade:  C+/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

ABOUT DREAMING DEATH

Shironne Anjir’s status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Her augmented senses allow her to discover and feel things others can’t, but her talents come with a price: a constant assault of emotions and sensations has left her blind. Determined to use her abilities as best as she can, Shironne works tirelessly as an investigator for the Larossan army.

A member of the Royal Family’s Guard, Mikael Lee also possesses an overwhelming power—he dreams of the deaths of others, sometimes in vivid, shocking detail and sometimes in cryptic fragments and half-remembered images.

Then a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, snuffing out his victims with an arcane and deadly blood magic. Only Shironne can sense and interpret Mikael’s dim, dark dreams of the murders. And what they find together will lead them into a nightmare…

 

DREAMING DEATH: A Palace of Dreams Novel

J. Kathleen Cheney

Roc Trade Paperback

$16.00 | 432 pages

ISBN: 9780451472939

February 2, 2016

PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF J. KATHLEEN CHENEY

“[A] masterpiece of historical fantasy.”

Library Journal

“Intriguing and fun, the mystery unfolds like a socially conscious tour through a cabinet of curiosities.”

Kirkus Reviews

Mesmerizing.”

Publishers Weekly

“Pulls readers in right off the bat.”

RT Book Reviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

J. Kathleen Cheney is the author of the Novels of the Golden City, including The Shores of Spain, The Seat of Magic, and The Golden City. Her short fiction has been published in such venues as Fantasy Magazine and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her novella “Iron Shoes” was a Nebula Finalist in 2010. She lives in Oklahoma, and you can visit her online at www.jkathleencheney.com.

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20. Big Snow – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Big Snow Author & Illustrator: Jonathan Bean Publisher: Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2013 Themes: Anticipation, excitement, first snowfall of season Awards: Charlotte Zolotow Award Nominee for Highly Commended Title, 2014 Ages: 3-5 Opening: “Mom,” said David, “when will it snow?”                                                                                                                  “I think soon,” said Mom. “Why don’t you help … Continue reading

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21. Review: Illicit Night with the Greek by Susanna Carr

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

This is going to be a rambling review.  The taboo aspects of this story didn’t bother me.   How everybody treated Jodie did. Her parents ignored her and shuttled her from one distant boarding school to the next, eager to rid themselves of her presence so they could selfishly pursue their lives without having a kid around. Stergios and his family treated her horribly, when all she wanted was some place to call home and someone to care for her. She was 15 years old when she first met them, and they couldn’t get rid of her fast enough, either! I’m just thinking what a crappy childhood that would have been, and what a strong person she must be to not be even more messed up than she was.  Jodie had zero positive role models while growing up.   ZERO.  The only reason her dad showed any interest in her at all was to ensure he received his massive child support checks from her mother.  How sad is that?

Jodie’s father is an admitted gold digger.  He married into the Antoniou family for their wealth.  Nobody seemed to have a problem with that.  Jodie, however, was a lonely, emotionally battered girl who acted out for attention.  Everybody had a problem with that.  Stergios’ mother treated her with contempt and distain, never welcoming the teenager into her home.  After an incident with her cousin, Jodie’s father banishes her from the family.  I would have considered that a stoke of good luck, but not Jodie.  She falls in and out of unwise relationships for the next few years, and then, after the sudden death of her mother, decides that she needs to make amends with her father.

Jodie’s determination to make her father love her drove me nuts and it really marred my enjoyment of the story.  Stergios wasn’t a teddy bear by any stretch of the imagination, but at least he came to realize that he was judging Jodie unfairly.  I found it kind of ironic that after taking advantage of her when she was 18, he continued to  hurl insults and judgment about her morality at her.  He also said some pretty hateful things to her during a huge argument at the midway point.  I really questioned what she saw in him, because whenever they were together, they brought out the worst in each other.  That did change later in the story, but Jodie was a lot more forgiving than I would have been.  And the kidnapping?  Just, no.  After what Stergios went through as a child, to even entertain this idea is inconceivable.  While Stergios’ behavior was driven by emotions, Jodie’s father never seemed to show any.  He was a spineless boy toy to the very end, and that infuriated me.

To say that Illicit Night with the Greek brought out lots of mixed emotions in me isn’t an exaggeration.  The supporting characters were vile and unlikable.  The hero was just barely tolerable for most of the story.  The step-sibling angle was kind of a moot point for me because Jodie was never a part of the Antoniou family, and Stergios treated her with contempt and distrust from the very first page.  This was mixed bag for me, one that did trigger several strong emotional responses, though the main response was rage at how everyone treated the heroine.  Because of how angry the Antoniou family made me, I found the backstory more compelling than the romance.  Do I believe in their HEA?  I think that Jodie and Stergios will remain blissfully happy – as long as they stay away from his unwelcoming, judgmental family. 

Grade:  C / C- because the supporting characters infuriated me so much!

Review copy provided by Author

The Greek’s unexpected parting gift…

Stergios Antoniou hasn’t seen his exiled, troublemaking stepsister, Jodie Little, since the night they finally gave in to their forbidden attraction. Learning she’s returned to Athens during a business deal too crucial to jeopardize, he holds her prisoner on his private island until it’s over. 

Jodie wants to rectify the past, but being so close to Stergios’s potent sensuality, she’s once again a slave to their destructive desire. One last illicit night should have put their affair behind them, but Jodie leaves the island with more than scorching-hot memories…

Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publication Date: February 1
Romance sub-genre: contemporary romance
Book length: 192 pages
Goodreads link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25897411-illicit-night-with-the-greek
Order links:
Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Illicit-Night-Greek-One-Consequences-ebook/dp/B0111OWG5U/
Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/illicit-night-with-the-greek-susanna-carr/1122252493?ean=9781488000621
Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Susanna_Carr_Illicit_Night_with_the_Greek?id=YNkaCgAAQBAJ
iBooks:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/illicit-night-with-the-greek/id1016372376?mt=11
Kobo:
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/illicit-night-with-the-greek
Author links
Website: http://www.susannacarr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.SusannaCarr
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusannaCarr
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22371
Bio:
Readers throughout the world find Susanna Carr’s award-winning contemporary romances a delightful escape that has often helped them through difficult times. Reviewers describe her award-winning stories as “fun”, “sexy” and “a must read”. When she isn’t writing or spending time with her family in the Pacific Northwest, Susanna enjoys reading romance and connecting with readers online.

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22. My Thoughts: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

4 yummy ice cream sandwiches.

Cover Love:  I do love this cover!  I love that it celebrates the friendship that is a focus of the book rather than the romance.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
I have had this as an ebook for awhile, but hadn't taken the time to read it.  Then this week, this book was available during my library's book fair. Everyday I would pick it up and read a little bit.  Finally I just gave in and read it all!  Here's the synopsis from Good Reads:
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um...

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?
Romance?: Yes!

My Thoughts:
I liked the romance in this book, but the memories of Sloane and Emily's friendship is really what drives this book.  Emily is so sure she is lost without Sloane, but when she opens herself up to a world without Sloane she learns she is not lost, she is fun and worth knowing.

I liked how the author kept the story fast paced and moving forward, giving us new characters and giving Emily new experiences, yet slowly doling out information about Sloane.  Sloane was the catalyst for Emily's story, but she wasn't the focus.  The book really focused on friendship.

I didn't love the absent parent aspect, why do young adult books always have to invent a way for parents to not be present?  Although Emily's parents are around, they aren't available.  But, they don't sound like horrible parents, just really caught up in their work.  I think this story would have been fine if they had been present, just working normally.

The author did a great job of giving us a picture of the girl Emily was before she met Sloane and the girl she thought she became when she had Sloane with her.  Emily had no confidence or strength of character on her own, she thought she got it all from  Sloane.  She did a great job of taking steps to realize she was strong on her own and she was also different than Sloane.  She didn't need to be a copy of her.

I adored Frank!  Perfect book boyfriend and one that I was glad to see developed a friendship with Emily before it went anywhere.

To Sum Up:  A great summer novel about friendship and romance.  Fun read!

0 Comments on My Thoughts: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson as of 2/1/2016 2:02:00 PM
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