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Reading progress update: I've read 160 out of 160 pages.

I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

I will admit that I saw the movie before reading this. I had heard some things about this novella, but not too many details, just that it was talked about by both Stephen King and Dean Koontz as groundbreaking.

I assumed that the book would follow the story fairly closely. I couldn't have been more wrong. Why is it, when a movie is based on a book, they change anything, much less the whole meaning behind the story?

**Spoiler Alert**

The pure loneliness and sadness that Robert Neville feels can be felt down to your soul. He has brief lapses where he seems to snap out of it somewhat, like when he starts to analyze the 'living' and 'dead' sufferers of the vampire virus and tries to determine what might be causing it, you see his alcohol consumption decrease and see that he truly seems to have a zest for life again.

You feel the loss of his wife and daughter, and the hollering that he hears each night, especially that of Ben Cortman, his old neighbor, who calls out his name each night...truly frightening. How he sustains life throughout 3 years without contact with another human is beyond me. Even his encounter with the dog, while providing some happiness, eventually ends in utter sadness.

When he meets Ruth you think that he may finally have a chance at having someone to relate to. Even though she is terrified of him when he yells to her, and exhibits even more fear and terror at being chased by him, once he has her back to his house you think that things might finally be looking up. But in the end, you realize what I Am Legend really means, and you have a new view on what 'normal' really is.

I would highly recommend this book. And, you won't see me do this often, but this one gets 5 stars from me.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen Book Review

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
It isn't uncommon for me to read a bestseller well after it was released. This book has been on my bookshelf for quite some time and for some reason I kept putting off reading it. I hate it when I hear so much praise for a book because I get nervous that it won't live up to it. I'm sorry to say, that is how I felt about Water for Elephants.
It all started with Jacob up and leaving his final exams in order to become a vet. I do understand that tragedy changes people, but when he realizes how much his parents gave up in order for him to go to school there, it seemed weird that he would throw that all away to join a circus...not the most lucrative choice.
August, Marlena and Uncle Al. Where do I even start? Well, let me begin with August (there are some spoilers here, so if you don't want to know don't read on, lol). I can't believe that a circus owner (Uncle Al) would continue to not only employ someone, but have them in a position of such power when he knew he was a paranoid schizophrenic. Especially when he had seen the rage take over. This is a business and I don't care how good he was at his job, when he was bad, he was true evil. His abuse of the animals and people throughout the book didn't sit well with me at all. I'm not saying that the character wasn't written well, I just didn't buy that the owner would allow it to continue. 
And what kind of owner was he? Well, a downright awful and malicious man himself. Not paying workers but making sure that the performers got paid (well, at least most of the time), tossing people from moving trains, taking advantage of people when they were the lowest they could be. You might think that explains why he kept August on, but he was greedy and it was all about money - to me August was just too much of a risk.
And Marlena. Jacob is fascinated by her from their first meeting. As they spend more time together you are led to believe that they are in love. Again, I struggled a little with this. I think that Marlena was comparing Jacob to August and seeing a good man who would treat her well. And I think that Jacob was infatuated with her, and because he was a virgin it made it all the more special when she took his virginity, especially considering the circumstance surrounding it.
My favorite part of the book was 'old' Jacob - telling his tale from the nursing home. I do think that the author is extremely talented, and love the fact that this surrounded circus life - not something you see in a book very often. I live a few hours from Baraboo, WI and have actually been to the Circus World Museum, home to Ringling Bros. I would say to give it a shot and see what you think.

The Tea House by Paul Elwork

The Tea House - Paul Elwork

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Kacey’s life is turned upside down after a car accident takes the lives of her parents, best friend, and boyfriend. Being the only survivor, she struggles to come to terms with why she survived, and tries to bury the memories of that horrific day through an exercise regime that helps control the anger, and bury her past self leaving a hard shell of the girl she used to be. When she realizes that her sister is in danger at the hands of their uncle, she packs them up and heads off to Miami for a fresh start. Not sure what to expect, she gets a job at a local Starbucks to make ends meet and try to save up for college for her sister. What she doesn’t expect is the feelings that get stirred when she meets their neighbor in the laundry room – Trent Emerson.

There is something about Trent that Kacey can’t put her finger on – there is more than just the physical attraction, so much more. And, even though she has vowed to keep her hard persona up, when she meets her neighbor Storm, and her little girl Mia, it is evident that this hard shell is going to start to crack. But, at what expense?

This story held my interest right up until the very end. I enjoyed it and thought the writing was good and the ending truly wrapped things up in a fantastic way. But, there were some parts of the story that I just felt lacked a little. I wish we could have gone more in depth as to what truly happened after Kacey finds out Trent’s shocking secret. ***SPOILER***It is obvious that their love was strong, but knowing that he was partially responsible for the car accident that took her loved ones, it seemed too rushed at the end for my liking. I hope that this isn’t the end of this story, as I did engage with the characters and want to find out what happens with Dan, Storm and Mia – and more importantly Kacey and Trent. My rating – 4 stars.

A copy of this book was sent to me on behalf of Atria from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Nothing I hate more than writing a bad review

A Midsummer Night's Scream - R.L. Stine

There is nothing I hate more than having to write a bad review. There are a lot of books that I don't like for one reason or another, but I can usually find something redeeming about them. I am sad to say that wasn't the case with A Midsummer Night's Scream. I don't even know where to begin. I found it hard to believe that parents would allow their children to participate in a remake of a horror movie that had 3 'accidental' deaths. Who would put their kids in this type of situation, no matter how hard they begged? Being the owners of the film studio, just put them in another film. I found the whole story to be poorly written, with an underdeveloped plot, poor character development, and just overall bad writing.

I have never read anything by R.L. Stine before, but my girls love Goosebumps, Fear Street, and watch The Nightmare Room on tv. Maybe I am just too old (I'm not that old, lol) to get where he is coming from. But, I seriously don't think so. I can't find one thing about this book that I liked except the cover, and would certainly tell anyone else to steer clear and pick up something else. It might work for the pre-teen audience, but I wouldn't even subject them to this one. Maybe I should pick up a Goosebumps book and see if this is typical.

Have you read anything by R.L. Stine that you can recommend? If so, let me know.

Source: http://reviewfromhere.com/2013/07/11/a-midsummer-nights-scream-by-r-l-stine-book-review