“T” is for Treasure Planet

source: movies.disney.com
source: movies.disney.com

Watched: March 18, 2015 on Netflix

Hashtag: #WatchingTreasure Planet

Year Released: 2002

Genre: Animated – Kids

Starring: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce

Run Time: 95 minutes

Description (from Google): The legendary “loot of a thousand worlds” inspires an intergalactic treasure hunt when 15-year-old Jim Hawkins stumbles upon a map to the greatest pirate trove in the universe in Walt Disney Pictures’ thrilling animated space adventure, “Treasure Planet.” Based on one of the greatest adventure stories ever told – Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” – this film follows Jim’s fantastic journey across a parallel universe as a cabin boy aboard a glittering space galleon.


source: rebloggy.com
source: rebloggy.com

The visuals in this movie were pretty stunning – Disney’s idea of space and flying ships and dying stars are just lovely.  That’s about the extent of my positive feelings, though.  The story felt clunky, the characters felt one-dimensional (Jim, Doppler, Captain Amelia, Sarah) or way-too-dimensional (John Silver).  Most of my tweets throughout the movie were along the lines, “So the cyborg is a villain?” “Oh, wait, he’s not.” “Nope, he definitely is.”  I can definitely see why this film hasn’t become a Disney classic in the vein of The Lion King, Aladdin, or The Little Mermaid. It was just missing the spark of magic.  Also, the side characters, which Disney usually does so well, were annoying and added nothing to the plot.  Hard pass on watching again.


If you want to see the rest of my tweets from this movie, follow me on Twitter @RLHammAuthor and look for #WatchingTreasurePlanet

“F” is for Four Weddings and a Funeral

source: movieguide.org
source: movieguide.org

Watched: March 5, 2015 on Netflix

Hashtag: #Watching4WedsAndAFuneral

Year Released: 1994

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Starring: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell

Run Time: 117 minutes

Description (from Amazon): A reserved Englishman meets attractive American Carrie at a wedding and falls in love with her, but his inability to express his feelings seems to forestall any possibility of relationship – until they meet again and again.


I’m 50/50 on this movie.  I liked the comedy – there were several moments where I laughed out loud.  There were great one-liners, like this one

source: pinterest.com
source: pinterest.com

Hugh Grant (Charles) was charming, as he is in all his Richard Curtis collaborations, but it was not lost on me that he wasn’t really playing a character so much as playing a less skeezy version of himself (as he does in all his Richard Curtis collaborations).  Andie MacDowell as Carrie was fine, but she really had some horrible dialogue to deliver and it never felt as though we were getting much of a personality from her.  She was an ideal.  A Richard Curtis manic-pixie-dream-girl with a Southern American accent and a lot of sexual experience.  I didn’t buy their romance. It was too sudden in the beginning, too unrealistic at the end.

The rest of the cast of characters, on the other hand, was superb.  I found myself rooting for supporting characters whose names I didn’t even know, wishing they had more screen time (to replace stupid Charles and Carrie).  Kristin Scott Thomas as Fiona was droll and sneering with a bad word for everyone, but also vulnerable and relatable.  John Hannah (Matthew) and Simon Callow (Gareth) were the real couple to root for.  So subtle in their relationship their own best friends didn’t realize the extent of their commitment, yet so deeply in love that Matthew’s eulogy caused the only real stir of emotion in me while watching the film.  A gay couple who weren’t played as the gay couple.  A May-December relationship not played as a May-December relationship.  It was stunning.  Where’s THAT movie?  Attention Richard Curtis – the Matthew-Gareth RomCom is what you should have made.

source: online-video-company.co.uk
source: online-video-company.co.uk

Check out Twitter for more of my thoughts and tell me in the comments your favorite couple from the movie.


“C” is for Clue

source: pixgood.com
source: pixgood.com

Watched: March 4, 2015 on Netflix

Hashtag: #WatchingClue

Year Released: 1985

Genre: Mystery / Comedy

Starring: Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd

Run Time: 94 minutes

Description (from Google): Based on the popular board game, this comedy begins at a dinner party hosted by Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving), where he admits to blackmailing his visitors. These guests, who have been given aliases, are Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), Mr. Green (Michael McKean), professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn) and Col. Mustard (Martin Mull). When Boddy turns up murdered, all are suspects, and together they try to figure out who is the killer.

source: darrenstein.tumblr.com
source: darrenstein.tumblr.com

This movie was really funny, super quirky. It was just a good time.  You could tell that the cast and director had a great time making the film.  I’ll definitely watch again.  I’m actually looking forward to getting to know the movie well, it seems like a great new film to add to my forever-quotable repertoire.

For those who’ve never watched it – the movie has three endings.  When it was first released in theaters, the endings were distributed to different locations, with the theaters advertising which ending they were showing so moviegoers who wanted to see each ending could find where they were.  Netflix shows all three endings back to back, with title cards in between.  “C” was definitely my favorite – it was the funniest and made the most sense with the rest of the movie.

Go to Twitter and search for #WatchingClue for more of my thoughts on the movie.

source: ifrymineinbutter.com
source: ifrymineinbutter.com


“B” is for Blood Diamond

source: imdb.com
source: imdb.com

Watched: March 7, 2015 on DVD

Hashtag: #WatchingBloodDiamond

Year Released: 2006

Genre: Drama

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Dijimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly

Run Time: 143 minutes

Description (from Google): As civil war rages through 1990s Sierra Leone, two men, a white South African mercenary (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a black Mende fisherman (Djimon Hounsou), become joined in a common quest to recover a rare gem that has the power to transform their lives. With the help of an American journalist (Jennifer Connelly), the men embark on a hazardous trek through rebel territory to achieve their goal.


This was a difficult movie to watch.  Sitting on my couch, with my laptop and a bowl of popcorn, I was supremely aware of my privilege and good fortune.  Watching this man’s family be torn apart and knowing that I’ve never struggled for anything real in my entire life was uncomfortable, to say the least.  We watch these movies as entertainment, but are we educated?  I hope so, but I don’t know.  I’ll go about my life tomorrow, I may even tell my friends what a good movie it was, but will I do anything else?  I don’t know.

All this to say, it’s a very powerful movie.  The performances by DiCaprio (as Danny Archer) and Hounsou (as Solomon Vandy) were magnificent.  I would have liked to see some acknowledgement of the struggles women are also facing in Africa’s war zones, because it seems like powerful movies like this are always told from the male point-of-view, but one step at a time, right?

Anyways – watch this movie. It will make you emotional, but hopefully, it will also make you grateful for the ease of your life.

source: imoviequotes.com
source: imoviequotes.com


Movie Review: Into the Woods

Into-the-Woods-Movie-PosterLast weekend, two friends and I went to see Into the Woods.  It was Sunday night, cold, the theater was only mildly crowded, and we shared a large popcorn (with free refills!).  I had been wanting to see the movie since the first trailers were released, simply because the cast looked incredible, I love musicals, and I love all things Disney.  I was expecting a good show and I wasn’t disappointed.

I need to probably say that I really didn’t know a ton about the story before I saw the film.  While I participated in musical theater in high school and I love singing and dancing and acting, I don’t necessary obsess over musical theater as some do.  I’d never seen the stage show, but I knew people had strong feelings regarding Bernadette Peters playing the witch and how dare the producers cast Meryl Streep instead.  I knew the story was darker than what we normally expect when it comes to Disney movies.  I knew there’d be a lot of singing and I knew the cast featured some of my favorite actors (Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine) plus some living legends (Streep, Tracy Ulman, Christine Baranski), so though I was anticipating an enjoyable film, I didn’t have many expectations beyond that.

into the woods the bakers wifeThe film kicks off with a musical number – it doesn’t hold anything back.  The leads and supporting characters are all right there, up front, their melodies combining and their stories interweaving quite beautifully.  The actual look and style of the film is lovely, but dark.  The prologue shows the characters in the daytime, but then quickly transitions into the woods and darker locales.  The further into the movie, the darker the atmosphere seems to get – matching the events surrounding the characters.

The first half of the movie follows The Baker (James Cordon) and his Wife (Blunt) as they try and collect some rather unusual ingredients for a potion the Witch (Streep) plans on making in 3 days at the Blue Moon.  The supporting characters posses these ingredients and are blissfully unaware of their importance as they go about trying to find their happily ever afters.  The Baker’s Wife really steals this portion of the film.  She’s lovely and subtle and clever and every time she opens her mouth to sing the audience (i.e. me) were surprised by how beautiful a voice she has.  I really hope Blunt does more musicals in the future, as her singing voice was my favorite from the film.

into the woods the princeMy favorite musical number, however, was most definitely “Agony,” sung by Cinderella’s Prince (Pine) and Rapunzel’s Prince (Billy Magnussen).  It’s the kind of song you can’t get out of your head and I’ve found myself playing it over and over and over on youtube ever since getting home from watching the movie.  In fact, I’m listening to it right now as I type.  The song, already amazing, gets even better with the visuals from the film.  I was listening to the NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour’s podcast discussing this film and they mentioned how in the stage version of Into the Woods, there is very little set decoration and the actors are often playing on a bare stage, but the setting in the movie for this song was absolutely brilliant.  I don’t want to give it away, because it is incredibly funny and fitting and had the whole audience laughing throughout, so I’ll just say, go and watch it and come back and tell me how much you loved it.

Chris Pine is simply hysterical in this role – best casting award.

The second half of the movie shifts tone slightly drastically, as our cast of characters must now fight a giant who has begun “terrorizing” the countryside.  I’ve read in the stage version that there is a intermission in between the two acts, which I’m sure makes the transition seem less jarring, but I do think the movie did the best it could in making it.

The film ends with our characters all learning something about themselves and the nature of others.  Cinderella (Kendrick) and the Baker’s “No One is Alone” swan song is hauntingly beautiful (and another one I’ve listened to several times since seeing the movie) and gets a nice reprieve from the Baker’s Wife at the very end.

My biggest complaint with the film is that all of the music shares the same tone and musicality.  There are very few tempo changes and no variation in instruments – it’s all winds and strings complimenting the piano (at least, that’s what my untrained ears hear).  I’m not sure if this is a trademark of Stephen Sondheim’s musicals, but I found myself wishing the songs were more distinguishable from one another.

Final verdict – definitely a movie I’ll buy once it’s on dvd.  I’ll probably also buy the soundtrack in the meantime.  It makes me want to see the stage version, but I’m glad I saw the movie first, because hopefully that means I’ll be able to love both!

Book Review: Blogger Girl, by Meredith Schorr

blogger girlBlogger Girl, by Meredith Schorr

Genre: Chick Lit / Romance

Overall: **** 4 out of 5 stars

Legal secretary and popular Chick Lit blogger Kimberly Long is seriously crushing on a junior associate at the law firm where she works.  She’s also facing the challenge of reading and reviewing the debut novel of the girl who made her high school years miserable.

I did not receive a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I’ve heard/read some buzz about it on Facebook and Twitter (which the heroine of the book would probably get a kick out of) and I paid my own money for it.  Yesterday, needing something to read, I went to my trusty book box (where I have slips of paper listing all of the books I own but have not read yet) and pulled a title out.  Blogger Girl!  Yay!  I was excited because I’ve been wanting to read it for a while.  I started it last night and finished it about a half hour ago.  It was an easy, breezy read (to take a phrase from the book itself).

*Spoilers below*

The opening of the book introduces us to Kim and her crush on the very likeable, very cute Nicholas Strong.  Up until a night of drinks with office pals, Nicholas has never seemed to know she existed, but once Kim’s boss tells N. about K.’s book review blog, suddenly N. is finding more and more opportunities to talk to her.

K’s best friend, Bridget, is always around for support, especially when N. asks K. to meet him for drinks after her big 10-year high school reunion.  Unfortunately, the reunion also means a run-in with Hannah, who did her best to make high school a nightmare for K & B and who is now breathing down K’s back to get a favorable review of her to-be-released debut novel.

As Kim navigates her feelings/relationship with Nicholas and her jealousy and hatred for Hannah, she begins to realize that the thing she really wants most is to write a novel herself.

Character Development: ***** 5 out of 5 stars.  Kim was insanely relatable and likeable.  Nicholas is a dream, without being cliche.  I love that Schorr made him a short, but still hot guy.  Short guys are so underrated.  His sudden interest in Kim at the beginning felt slightly forced, but once their banter was established, I was all in.  They had the cutest conversations that always seemed realistic for where they were at in their relationship.  The supporting characters were all well-developed as well.  I feel like Schorr spent the most time on Hannah, but Erin (Kim’s sister) had a full personality despite only being used for phone call scenes, and Kim’s two best friends (Bridget and Caroline) were distinct from each other with their own backstories and subplots (Caroline didn’t really have a subplot, but it was shown that she had a life outside of the events of the book, which is not always easy to do).

I do wish that Schorr hadn’t gone the route of two mean girls as Kim’s adversaries.  Hannah was needed and great, but Daneen seemed unnecessary.  I get why she was included – to assist in sparking the fight between K. and N. in the middle of the book, but I feel her role could have just as easily been male.  I don’t like that women always assume that other women are their enemies.

Plot: **** 4 out of 5 stars.  The pacing is good and the character development has a lot to do with that.  Schorr relies on some cliches – the big misunderstanding leading to a breakup, the mean girls mentioned above – but I enjoyed the ebb and flow of the story, so it didn’t bother me too much.  After all, the entire book was a little meta and probably would have felt awkward if those cliches hadn’t been included.

Writing Style/ Voice of the Author: **** 3.5 out of 5 stars.  This was really easy to read, but sometimes the meta-ness worked against the author instead of for her.  The description of Hannah’s book, which Kim is reluctant to admit sounds interesting, did not sound interesting at all.  The repetition of certain phrases and descriptions became distracting – I found myself wanting to tally how many times Kim and her friends giggled.  Were they incapable of laughing?  Did it have to be a giggle?  But – the dialogue was solid and the author never went off on descriptive tangents that take a reader out of the scene, and her characters are so well done, it makes up for any defects.

Favorite Lines:

He put his mouth to the harmonica, played a few notes, and started singing to the tune of the chorus of Penny Lane by The Beatles.  ‘Kimmie Long was in my pants and it felt nice.


Nicholas rubbed his lips.  “Isn’t it supposed to be first comes date, then comes sex?  We had sex before the date.”

“I think the correct words to that ditty are ‘first comes love then comes marriage.’  But lots of people get that order wrong too.”


The last two lines – I’m not going to write them here, because I don’t want to deprive you of the humor when you read them for yourselves.  They are just the perfect conclusion to a running joke throughout the book and you won’t find them funny on their own.

Book Review: Fate War Alliance, by E.M. Havens

book coverFate War: Alliance is the first book in the Fate War series.

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Overall **** 4 out of 5 Stars.  I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

An arranged marriage between Prince Cole and Princess Samantha provides the alliance needed to defeat the Fate Army.

Prince Cole is your basic playboy-not-interested-in-being-King.  Princess Samantha is anything but basic.  When Cole’s brother is killed, Cole is forced to step into his place as next-in-line to the throne, but he doesn’t exactly go willingly.  Sam wants to escape palace life, but before she can, her parents send her to a “finishing” school and wipe out her uniqueness and free will.

After being forced to wed and then consummate the marriage in front of a room full of strangers, Cole and Samantha get off to a bit of a rocky start.  He wants to get to know her, but all she wants to do is please him, and the two wants don’t exactly compute.  Eventually, Cole is able to coax out pieces of the true Samantha: she’s a fast reader who retains everything she’s read, she loves horses, dessert is her favorite part of a meal.  But Samantha is constantly at war with herself, having been “taught” in the finishing school what a true lady is and Cole’s behavior won’t let her follow her what she’s “learned.”

When it is finally revealed that Samantha’s mother repressed her daughter’s genius in order to hide her paternity, Sam finally accepts herself for who she is and allows her true self to come to the surface.  Cole gifts her a tinker shop and she shows aptitude for battle.  When the Fate army begins closing in, she proves herself capable of of much more than building trinkets by leading the Alliance army to victory against the Fate.

This was my first foray into the steampunk genre and I quite liked it!  Because the world is based on something I was already familiar with, Victorian England (with some medieval elements), the world-building didn’t throw me.  It intrigued me.  Havens does an excellent job of dropping in phrases and technologies unique to her world while giving the reader the context clues needed to figure out what those references mean.

The heat between Cole and Samantha was ABSOLUTELY FANFREAKINGTASTIC.  Havens teases the characters and the readers and when things finally happen, it is well-worth the wait.  It’s sweet, it’s sensual, it’s loving.  And then, to top it off, the reader can tell the characters genuinely like and care for each other, beyond lust and love.

Character Development: **** 4.5 out of 5 stars.  Samantha is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever read.  Her constant internal battle is not only well-written and believable, it is also so unique.  She merges the two stereotypical female characters we’ve come to expect in Princess stories: the weak, damsel-in-distress, needing her Prince to be her Savior, with the strong, bad-assed, take-no-crap-from-anyone warrior, and she does it in a way that is not stereotypical at all.  I don’t think I’m explaining this correctly, but read it, and I think you’ll get what I’m saying.  I loved Samantha, because to tell the truth, I’m a little sick of female characters who are strong only because it is un-PC to write a female character who isn’t strong.  Samantha is weak AND strong.  Insecure AND confidant.  Subversive AND dominant.  But she’s not all obnoxious about it.

The other characters were also really well-written.  Cole started out a little cliche, but he grew on me, especially in his good intentions towards Samantha.  Zeb was amazingly well-done, and he was only featured in a few scenes, so I imagine he’ll have a larger role in the next installment.  Then there’s Jasper.  Oh Jasper. For a character who appeared only once and who didn’t technically say anything, he was incredibly interesting.  There’s mystery surrounding him – we don’t know if he’s good or evil, we don’t know why he joined the Fate army, we don’t know if he’s somehow controlling Samantha in her dark periods.  So many questions, but good ones!  I didn’t feel unsatisfied not knowing the answers to them, it just made me ready to read the next book.

Plot: **** 4 out of 5 stars.  A lot happens in this book.  We meet Cole and Samantha, they begin their married life, and Cole begins Samantha’s “re-education.”  Then there is the discovery of Samantha’s true self.  They fall in love.  Samantha finally enables herself to trust Cole and become intimate with him.  The Fate army draws near.  Samantha proves she’s more than just a pretty face by leading their army.  The progression of the plot is steady, the tension between Cole and Samantha perfect.  There were a few scenes of conflict between Sam and Cole that felt a little forced/contrived to me, which caused me to remove one star, but for the most part, it was beautifully plotted.

Writing Style/ Voice of the Author: **** 4 out of 5 stars.  Havens keeps it simple, which I really like.  The story was easy to read, the dialogue flowed well and felt natural.  The book is a breeze.  There were a few awkward scene jumps, but for the most part, I liked the pacing.  The author’s voice never intruded.  I said it in my review of Gone Girl, and I’ll say it again: nothing ruins the flow of a book like the author’s voice intruding.  Havens showed her story beautifully .

Favorite Lines:

“Although he had managed to cooperate as little as possible over the years with his father, King Arnold, his duties as Prince could no longer be ignored.  Duty.  He just couldn’t understand how societies so technologically advanced, and continuing to advance, could hold on to such archaic and simply barbaric traditions.”

“Sprocket Defend!”

“Sam found it wasn’t just warmth that soaked into her body from his touch, strength seeped in, too.”

Purchase Fate War: Alliance



HeadshotAbout the Author:

Who is E.M. Havens? I’m a lot of things. The word that seems to define me most at the moment is mom. It can be all consuming. Not only am I a mom of three (one of them is a teenager…pity me), but I also home-school (pity me more). I share this awesome responsibility with the love of my life, best friend, and soul-mate husband.

Add to that, the twenty-five chickens, twelve turkeys, ten guineas, nine pigs, three barn cats, two Great Pyrenees guardian dogs, a Chihuahua, a house cat, and a goose, it makes for one crazy, full, and certainly entertaining life.

Somewhere in there I find the time to write.  I started out young writing poems, then moved on to songs. I actually have a Bachelor in Music with a secondary in Science because I can’t stand English. Yes, the writer hates English.  I like to read the story for the experience of reading the story, not to nitpick each letter and comma. But I digress.

I eventually found blogging and really enjoyed sharing my life that way. When an unfortunate turn of events separated me from my music equipment, I decided to use my overactive imagination, my love of reading, and my new found hobby, prose writing, to release some of my creative energy.  I wrote my first novel and loved the experience. Fate War: Alliance is actually the second novel I wrote and the first to be published.  Now I’m working on my third and several sequels to Fate War!

So that’s pretty much me, sitting in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, reading, writing, collecting eggs from the coop, and being a schoolmarm. It’s a pretty great life.

E.M.’s Blog

Author Facebook Page

Fate War Facebook Page


Book Review: Wicked Hunger, by DelSheree Gladden

wicked_hunger_previewWicked Hunger is the first book in the SomeOne Wicked This Way Comes series.

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Overall **** 4 out of 5 Stars.  I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Brother and sister Zander and Van have a secret.  A BIG secret.  They protect their secret and each other at all costs, until the new girl in town, Ivy, threatens to expose them both.

When I was reading Wicked Hunger, I had an eerily similar feeling as I did reading The Hunger Games.  The two stories aren’t alike, plot or character-wise, but they both have a darkness that one doesn’t usually associate with YA.  As I was reading Wicked Hunger, I kept thinking, I shouldn’t be enjoying this, I shouldn’t be enjoying this.  Exactly the same reaction I had to The Hunger Games.  With HG, I shouldn’t have enjoyed it because it was about children killing children.  With WH, I shouldn’t have enjoyed it because it was about Zander and Van struggling with their hunger to cause others intense physical (and sometimes, emotional) pain.

Sometimes it’s the books we shouldn’t enjoy that we enjoy the most.

Zander and Van can’t explain WHY they have this hunger for pain, only that it has been passed down through their family.  They think they are alone in the world and can’t explain their struggles with anyone, for their own safety as well as the safety of everyone around them.  They both do their best to control the hunger, Zander by channeling it into football, and Van by gathering a group of close friends around her and teaching dance classes; but controlling the hunger is the hardest thing Zander has ever done when he meets Ivy.  She fuels his hunger unlike any other person he’s ever met.  Plus, he is immediately attracted to her, so that really doesn’t help!  Van feels her hunger for Ivy, too, but luckily, her judgement isn’t clouded by teenage-boy-hormones.

When Van discovers what Ivy has planned to “out” their secret, she races to save Zander, Ivy, and herself.

Character Development: **** 3.5 out of 5 stars.  Zander and Van are well-thought out and portrayed.  I like that they have distinct personalities, but you also REALLY believe them as brother and sister.  Ivy is complicated – the reader can never figure out what’s going on with her, but Gladden does a great job showing how untrustworthy she is.  But my favorite character is probably Oscar.  He is Zander and Van’s older brother who has literally been driven insane by his hunger.  Although he only featured in 2 scenes, I could tell Gladden had his character down pat.  His moments of crazy were beautifully interspersed with moments of lucidity and I’m really hoping for more of him as the series progresses.

I had to take stars off for some of the minor characters, though.  Van’s group of friends is made out to be very important to her controlling her hunger, but the only one who gets any major “screen” time is Ketchup (fun name!).  And even Ketchup’s character is very minimally drawn.  We don’t get to see what it is about him that Van loves so much.  I really wish there had been more scenes showing us their history together, because it is clearly important to Van.  Then there’s Noah, a new kid in Van’s life, who seems to only be introduced as a distraction immediately forgotten.  Van and Zander’s grandmother is their care-giver, but only appears in a few short scenes.  We are told how strict she is, but it’s never shown.  A definite missed opportunity that I’m hoping will be corrected in book 2.

Plot: **** 4 out of 5 stars.  There actually is not a lot of action to this book.  What drives the story is Zander and Van’s inner turmoil as they deal with the hunger.  That being said, it is obvious that Gladden has put a lot of thought into her world.  There are many of questions left unanswered at the end of the book, plenty to fill books 2 and 3!

Writing Style/ Voice of the Author: **** 4 out of 5 stars.  Gladden does something unique, and it really works well for this story.  She combines present tense and past tense.  It gives the story an immediacy that intensifies the emotions of the characters.  She also does a fantastic job of moving seamlessly between Van and Zander’s points of view.  I never once got confused as to which character’s head I was in.  I took one star off because I found it difficult to jump into the story.  Gladden held back at the beginning a lot of the backstory, but then teased the reader with it continuously.  I don’t mind teasers when they are subtle, but these were not subtle!  I understand the purpose – build up the mystery and the tension and then reveal bombshells throughout the book – it’s just not my favorite way to do it.  I know some readers who would absolutely disagree with me, though!

Favorite Lines:

“Bruises can tell stories better than most people.”

“The pain burns up my arms and into my chest, but I can’t escape the animalistic thrill of destruction.”

“Instead, the colors look to be slowly blending together, a potter’s clay not yet molded into what it is meant to become.”

Purchase Wicked Hunger on Amazon:



Sheree SmallAbout the Author:

DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually teaching yoga, coaching gymnastics, reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, Twin Souls Saga, and The Destroyer Trilogy. DelSheree’s newest series, The SomeOne Wicked This Way Come series, follows Vanessa and Zander Roth, siblings with an uncontrollable hunger for pain and suffering that will either gain them limitless power or lead them to their deaths.

DelSheree’s Blog

DelSheree’s Website




Book Review: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn


**** Overall 4 out of 5 stars

It takes some masterful writing to keep a reader engaged in a story with two incredibly, INCREDIBLY, unlikeable main characters.  I took the star off because the characters were INCREDIBLY unlikeable.  But I read their entire damn story.

On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick comes home to find his wife, Amy, has disappeared.  All the evidence suggests he killed her.  And he doesn’t do himself many favors – he’s strangely calm and unnerved by the disappearance.  Entries from Amy’s diary tell a tale of two people falling in love, and then her husband becoming less and less worthy of that love.

Or course, it would be too easy if Nick had killed her.  It would be too easy for her to be dead at all.  So she’s not.  And that’s where things go all bat-shit crazy and the reader gets sucked in to this dysfunctional relationship between 2 people who NEVER should have gotten married.

I was very weary throughout the first half of the book.  I knew Nick hadn’t done anything to his wife, but only because, like I said above – it would have been too easy.  Yet, he was so unlikeable.  I practically hated him.  And Amy.  The pictures of Amy that Nick painted and that Amy’s diary painted were of 2 different people.  And I didn’t like either of them.  So I found it hard to stick with the book even though I wanted to see what the twist ending was I’d been hearing so much about.

About three-fourths of the way through the book, I couldn’t put it down.  I spent 3 hours hunkered down on my couch (on a Friday night, no less) finishing it.  I wanted to see what the crazy psycho characters were going to do to each other, how it would play out.  By that time I had no clue how the author was going to end it, but I don’t think I’d call the ending a twist.  I think it was very appropriate for how f***ed up the characters were, though.

Character Development – ***** 5 out of 5 stars.  I did not like the characters, but Flynn did an amazing job of drawing their characters and delving into their psyche.  The characters felt very real.

Plot – *** 3 out of 5 stars.  The story begins with an unoriginal idea, a missing wife and her husband is the main subject, but Flynn subtly adds in twists, turns, intrigue.  The characters become the plot.  And, see above for how the characters were drawn.

Writing Style/ Voice of the Author – ***** 5 out of 5 stars.  I’d give it 6.  You know how I know a book is really good?  I forget I’m reading a book.  The author just tells the story.  Keeps it simple.  That’s what this was.  I never felt intruded on by the author’s voice.  There were no flashy words or prose to distract from what was happening.

One final note.  This book was good, but from all the hype surrounding it, I expected to be sucked in immediately and to not want to put it down until I was finished.  I expected a massive twist ending.  Neither of those things were true.  The hype actually let me down.  When I started reading the book, I was a passenger on a 12-hour car ride.  Ever few chapters or so I had to put the book down and stare out the window (that’s how much I disliked the characters).  I didn’t want to keep reading, keep reading, keep reading.  And I had what seemed like all the time in the world to do so.  I was disappointed because everyone I’d talked to about the book had said how amazing it was.  I wish I had read it without hearing all of the hype, because I may have liked it even more.