Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Review: Life Is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like a Star

Life Is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like a Star Life Is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like a Star by Tim Federle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd like to thank Net Galley and the publisher for proving me with a copy of this book!

This was a highly enjoyable read for someone in the theatre industry. Finally, someone is speaking my language - Brian D'arcy James, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Dear Evan Hansen, oh my! Tim Federle has worked on some of my favourite musicals... and I didn't even realise until I read this (shame on me for only knowing the music side of my favourite musicals!) I found that Federle's advice was well thought out, backed up with his personal experiences, and simple to do in the long run. Loved it. I read this book in less than a day, and within the first couple of pages, I stopped to recommend it some of my theatre friends. By sticking to shorter chapter lengths, Federle keeps the advice short and sweet - very much like receiving a note from a hurried Stage Manager. The information provided doesn't need to be long or drawn out, just a simple "do this, this is why, now go!" and I loved that.

My only setback is that as much as he tried, I just can't see how a lot of this advice fits in to everyday life. This book is incredibly enjoyable for someone who knows their theatre, but for others - probably not so much. I would recommend this book to any and all "theatre kids" old or young.

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Review: See What I Have Done



See What I Have DoneSee What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finished reading this at midnight. Will I sleep? Probably not.


I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book! This is a review of an ARC!

So it's safe to say most people know who Lizzie Borden is. Or at the very least is familiar with the creepy as hell jump rope song you may have heard as children: "Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks; when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one." If you weren't aware, this rhyme is based on real events - a murder that occurred in the town of Fall River in 1892. Early August, Lizzie Borden's stepmother Abbey, and father Andrew were discovered brutally killed with an axe in their home. Now here's the catch: Only Lizzie, the family maid Bridget and Mr and Mrs Borden are confirmed to be home at the time. No sign of intrusion, nothing taken, no obvious motive, no witnesses, a visiting uncle (brother of their late mother), an absent Emma Borden (Lizzie's older sister)... what the hell happened in the Borden house? Unfortunately the answers have most likely been lost to time. While I (and, let's be honest, history itself) believe Lizzie Borden to have committed these crimes, it's up to us to fill in the gaps as to the actual timeline and events leading up to that day.

In See What I Have Done we are led through the rough confirmed timeline through the eyes of various characters. I love love love how this book purposely fits in with what we know to be fact, while adding in "new" (of course at this point no theory can really be considered new) speculation. Schmidt obviously thoroughly researched this case and boy, does it pay off! One thing I will say about the writing in this book is that it's gross. At one point Emma Borden is left to clean the house of the... mess... and I almost gagged. Physically gagged. This book is almost disgusting in its descriptions. However - that's kind of the point, isn't it? Through this novel we are placed in the Borden house on the most gruesome day in it's history. (On a side note, the house is now a museum/B&B where you can actually stay the night. No way in hell would you even catch me on the same block as this house.)

All in all, this isn't your classic old fashioned murder mystery, and while this is technically historical fiction, it relies heavily on a very disturbing true story, and the mental imagery isn't pretty. At all. If you can handle that, definitely give this gem a read.

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Short Story Review: Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally Friendly Environmentally Friendly by Elias Zanbaka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'd like to thank Elias Zanbaka for providing me with a copy of Environmentally Friendly in exchange for an honest review!

First things first: I never really do well when I'm thrust in the middle of an action scene. I really struggle to find my bearings when I feel like I've missed a large chunk of the story, and unfortunately I felt that way with this one. However, regardless of personal preferences, this short story is definitely well written! And the premise? Well I can say that I have never come across a plot quite like it! An escaped psychiatric patient is on a rampage, insisting that the earth (literally the earth... as in Mother Nature) has wronged him. According to my Kindle it took me approximately 8 minutes to read this story, and if you happen to have some free time this summer, check it out!

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