Ronit & Jamil

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RONIT & JAMIL by Pamela L. Laskin is a Lyrical novel in verse. It’s a fresh retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet where the star-crossed lovers are in modern-day Israel and Palestine stuck in the middle of their countries conflict.

There were a lot of reasons I picked up this book: the cover art is beautiful, the idea of a modern Romeo & Juliet, and I’m a sucker for star-crossed love – end of story. While the poetry is beautiful at times, it does come across very middle grade. I’m not sure who the audience is supposed to be, but it feels young. Truth be told, wasn’t Juliet 12? So maybe that is the intent.

I thought it was interesting that the verses almost seemed to mirror on her side and his throughout the book. They each have individual lives, on either border of Israel and Palestine, but they are so similar. Even the day to day is similar. I could be off base here, but it felt like the author was trying to convey that despite their differences, these countries are more alike than they maybe would like to admit. So for that reason, I thought it was beautiful rendition. I don’t know that the audience as a whole would appreciate the themes in this book, and for that, I’m a little sad.

 

Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies

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By Kojo Steven Sakai Performed by Lauren Ezzo / Performed by Lauren Ezzo

I was scanning through Twitter like one does and came across an author friend of mine who said her book was up on Audiobook Boom! only I’d never heard of it till that moment. So of course being the book nerd that I am, I had to see what she was talking about.  I was surprised to see Audiobook Boom! was giving away free audio books to anyone who would simply write a review. I thought, why the hell not. I read them like candy anyways, so I might as well do one for an author who’s looking to move forward a bit. So in exchange for a free copy of the audio book, I’m writing this brutally honest review. And so without further ado, I present to you Romeo & Juliet vs. Zombies.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked ROMEO & JULIET VS. ZOMBIES as my book. I’d never heard of the author or the book before but I’m usually willing to give everything a go at least once. This was not what I’d expected at all. It wasn’t like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies which is sort of what I was expecting. Instead, it was a gender bent retelling. I enjoyed most of it for this reason alone. Romeo’s nickname was Princess and Juliet was a warrior. I loved the priest who secretly hated everyone and was trying to bring destruction instead of  peace.

That all being said, and keeping in mind I know nothing of this author, it felt like a debut book. There were times when the writing was a bit sloppy and the adverbs made me cringe. On a whole, I feel like the unique story made up for this. I can’t help but feel it would be a stronger book with maybe one more edit from fresh eyes. Someone who can cut out the telling and transform it to showing. On a whole though, it wasn’t half bad and I think I picked a decent title for my first Audiobook Boom! title. In the end, if you’re a fan of Shakespeare or Romeo and Juliet, I’d say give this a try. Zombies only ever spice things up a bit!

The Night Circus

March 20, 2016

The Night Circus By Erin MorgensternReviewed by Miranda BoyerI’ve picked up The
Night Circus twice now. The first time, I was so completely and utterly
thrown by the way it was written, that I got distracted by it. I’ve never read
a book told in such a way. This only stopped me a short time though, before I found
myself picking it back up again. I only made it 50 pages the first time. It’s a
thing I do, give every book 50 pages before calling it quits. In my experience,
many books need a little extra time and they are so worth the time. But if you’re
not completely drawn in by that point then move along. After all there are
millions of books in the world, and I only finish about 50 or 60 a year. I like
to think that the 50 or 60 I do finish were worth the time. Besides, this book
was calling me. I read 50 pages and walked away. Only it haunted me and called
my name.The Night Circus can
best be described as Romeo and Juliet meets a circus filled with magic. It is
the tale of two very old, very great magicians (for lack of a better word). They
have to extremely different takes on how to manipulate the world around them.
So much so that they have created a test or a game out of who’s way is better. Enter
Marco and Celia. Marco and Celia come from “two houses”, or two schools of
thought. Pitted against one another to be the best, each plays their part well
in the circus. Until they fall madly in love. With a backdrop of characters
making up the company, the guests, and time, Marco and Celia must bend all the
rules to break free of the game and follow their hearts. I truly enjoyed this book far more then I anticipated. I
tend to shy away from things that are overly popular and maybe that was my
reason for shying away form this book for as long as I did. I’ve been entranced
for days now and all I keep thinking is how beautiful it would be to attend a
proper circus, a night circus. I imagine that nothing will live up to the
images painted by Erin Morgenstern in my mind. The love letters that Marco and
Celia send to one another in the form of circus tents, magic mazes, and wishing
trees… I don’t know that any real circus could live up to this romanticized version.
There was part of me that wondered how different would The Night Circus be from say Water for Elephants. I loved that book
as well for many different reasons. It was grounded in history and the former
took a turn for mysticism. In the end, I will recommend this enchanting tale
for years to come.
The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern

Reviewed by Miranda Boyer

I’ve picked up The Night Circus twice now. The first time, I was so completely and utterly thrown by the way it was written, that I got distracted by it. I’ve never read a book told in such a way. This only stopped me a short time though, before I found myself picking it back up again. I only made it 50 pages the first time. It’s a thing I do, give every book 50 pages before calling it quits. In my experience, many books need a little extra time and they are so worth the time. But if you’re not completely drawn in by that point then move along. After all there are millions of books in the world, and I only finish about 50 or 60 a year. I like to think that the 50 or 60 I do finish were worth the time. Besides, this book was calling me. I read 50 pages and walked away. Only it haunted me and called my name.

The Night Circus can best be described as Romeo and Juliet meets a circus filled with magic. It is the tale of two very old, very great magicians (for lack of a better word). They have to extremely different takes on how to manipulate the world around them. So much so that they have created a test or a game out of who’s way is better. Enter Marco and Celia.

Marco and Celia come from “two houses”, or two schools of thought. Pitted against one another to be the best, each plays their part well in the circus. Until they fall madly in love. With a backdrop of characters making up the company, the guests, and time, Marco and Celia must bend all the rules to break free of the game and follow their hearts.

I truly enjoyed this book far more then I anticipated. I tend to shy away from things that are overly popular and maybe that was my reason for shying away form this book for as long as I did. I’ve been entranced for days now and all I keep thinking is how beautiful it would be to attend a proper circus, a night circus. I imagine that nothing will live up to the images painted by Erin Morgenstern in my mind. The love letters that Marco and Celia send to one another in the form of circus tents, magic mazes, and wishing trees… I don’t know that any real circus could live up to this romanticized version.

There was part of me that wondered how different would The Night Circus be from say Water for Elephants. I loved that book as well for many different reasons. It was grounded in history and the former took a turn for mysticism. In the end, I will recommend this enchanting tale for years to come.