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Book Review: CANARY by Duane Swierczynski

Book Review: CANARY by Duane Swierczynski

March 4, 2015 – 9:06 pm | 2 Comments

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
Sarie Holland, the protagonist in Duane Swierczynski’s Canary, is a 17-year-old college student who’s busted after unwittingly helping another student on a …

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Book Review: ONE STEP TOO FAR by Tina Seskis

February 10, 2015 – 5:08 pm | One Comment

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.

one step too farAt the start of British author Tina Seskis’s debut novel, One Step Too Far, a married lawyer named Emily Coleman is running away from her family and establishing a new identity as the single Catherine “Cat” Brown, who lives in a hovel with a gaggle of roommates. Her personality and wardrobe get a complete makeover, as does her career.

She lands a job answering phones at an ad agency and works her way up to account manager within nine months. Her success is tempered, however, by the dreaded anniversary of the event that sent her on the run. Can she keep up her façade as the date approaches, or will her new life unravel under the strain of her secret?

Seskis slowly doles out the details surrounding the darkness in Emily’s past while keeping momentum, showing the devastation Emily’s husband experiences even as she tries to forget him, and moving back and forth in time to delve into Emily’s family history. Frances, Andrew and Caroline—her mother, father, and sister—are all flawed and often unlikable, but they’re well-fleshed-out characters with clear and plausible motivations who make no excuses for their bad behavior.

The novel is touted as a psychological thriller with a shocking twist. It’s more accurate to say One Step Too Far is a study of a dysfunctional family. The end is not so much a twist as an explanation of Emily’s behavior that will leave readers feeling gut-punched.

Nerd verdict: Absorbing if not Too twisty

Watch Oscar-Nominated Film for Free This Weekend

February 4, 2015 – 9:14 pm | 5 Comments
Watch Oscar-Nominated Film for Free This Weekend

Last October, I raved about the Rory Kennedy-directed/produced documentary, Last Days in Vietnam (my review here). Last month, it was Oscar nominated for best documentary feature.
This weekend, from February 5-7, you can stream this film …

Quick Thoughts on SAG Awards 2015

January 25, 2015 – 9:18 pm | One Comment
Quick Thoughts on SAG Awards 2015

The SAG Awards may have a lower profile than the Golden Globes and the Oscars, but it’s the most personal awards show for me because I get to vote for the winners.
This year I did …

Thoughts on Oscar Nominations 2015

January 15, 2015 – 10:56 am | 6 Comments
Thoughts on Oscar Nominations 2015

Since the Oscar nominations were announced at dark o’clock this morning, many articles have appeared griping about the snubs. I’m surprised, too, that certain frontrunners weren’t nominated—Gillian Flynn being ignored for Gone Girl‘s screenplay is …

Thoughts on the Golden Globes 2015

January 12, 2015 – 12:15 am | 3 Comments
Thoughts on the Golden Globes 2015

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, in their third and final outing as hosts, were my main reason for watching, and they landed some good jokes, though the show seemed less funny this year than it …

Movie Review: UNBROKEN

December 21, 2014 – 11:29 pm | 6 Comments
Movie Review: UNBROKEN

Much of the interest in Unbroken (out Dec. 25) comes from people wondering whether or not Angelina Jolie is a good director, so I’ll start by saying she acquits herself well, especially with a production …

Postertext Giveaway

December 17, 2014 – 8:46 pm | 13 Comments
Postertext Giveaway

Since many of us here are readers and have book lovers in our lives, we’re probably all scrambling for unique bookish gift ideas. This is why I’m excited to host this giveaway from Postertext. According …

Gift Book Reviews: THE MAKING OF GONE WITH THE WIND and STYLING THE STARS

December 11, 2014 – 8:24 pm | One Comment
Gift Book Reviews: THE MAKING OF GONE WITH THE WIND and STYLING THE STARS

Every year for Shelf Awareness for Readers, I review a couple of coffee-table books for the holidays. I received two beautiful ones this year that I think movie lovers on your gift list would appreciate. …

Nerdy Special List 2014 Favorites Edition

December 7, 2014 – 9:00 pm | 4 Comments
Nerdy Special List 2014 Favorites Edition

Hope you’re enjoying the season and not getting stressed out by all the things you have to do to be ready for the holidays. I live in denial and then do everything the night before …

Movie Review: INTO THE WOODS

November 30, 2014 – 8:35 pm | 12 Comments
Movie Review: INTO THE WOODS

The film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical Into the Woods (out December 25) is an example of how star power can be effective in drawing people to the cinema. I really wanted to see …

Movie Review: WILD

November 26, 2014 – 12:17 am | 5 Comments
Movie Review: WILD

Cheryl Strayed’s blockbuster memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail comes to the screen December 3 (in limited release), with Reese Witherspoon playing Strayed as she hikes over a thousand miles of …

Movie Review: THE IMITATION GAME

November 23, 2014 – 9:06 pm | 5 Comments
Movie Review: THE IMITATION GAME

Awards season is in full swing in L.A. and I’ve been going to a lot of screenings. Tonight is Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper with Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle and later this week is Into …

Book Review: DEADLINE by John Sandford

October 23, 2014 – 4:36 pm | 5 Comments
Book Review: DEADLINE by John Sandford

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
As a favor for a friend, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers looks into multiple dognappings that have occurred …

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