Becky’s Twenty-Second Book Review: “Dexter in the Dark” by Jeff Lindsay

“Dexter in the Dark” is the third book in the Dexter series. The further I get into this series, the more I notice how Jeff Lindsay’s writing is improving. I thought that the first book was very well done and there has just been steady improvement with the second and now the third. At the moment there are six books in the series, and I cannot wait to continue reading the Dexter series with the fourth book which I’m going to start very soon.

By this point it has become clear to me that the books do not tie in with the series in any sort of steady way. I like this, to be honest. Instead of trying to make the books into a TV series where everything is the same (and therefore lots of room for disappointment) the producers of the show are using the books as an inspiration. There are the same characters, and some of the same situations, but the show has gone in its own direction.

This book introduces a new twist on what Dexter refers to as his ‘dark passenger’.  The audience actually gets to hear what the dark passenger is thinking and feeling. “Dexter in the Dark” refers to the fact that when Dexter goes to a crime scene, instead of being able to turn inside and get advice from his dark passenger, he finds that it has abandoned him. Dexter is determined to find out why and if this means he has to be normal now. It is a very interesting twist. Jeff Lindsay’s ability to manipulate language makes these books so much fun to read. I love the dark humor and just the way that he shapes his sentences. As I suspected from the beginning (with the first book), Jeff Lindsay is a fan of alliterations. The way he uses them throughout the book is just like adding his signature flavor to a recipe. I love it.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I am a big fan of the series, and while it does revolve around a serial killer I think that a lot of people would enjoy reading the books. If you are already a Dexter fan from watching the show you would enjoy them, if you haven’t seen the show but enjoy crime novels and dark humor then this series is for you.

Advertisements

Becky’s Twenty-First Book Review: “Fearless in High Heels” by Gemma Halliday

SPOILER ALERT: THERE ARE REFERENCES TO THE HIGH HEELS MYSTERY SERIES (BOOKS 1-5); DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS SERIES AND ARE PLANNING ON IT

“Fearless in High Heels” by Gemma Halliday is the sixth book in the high heels mystery series. These books are all lighthearted—great for when you just need to have a relaxing read! Since I didn’t review the first five books (I didn’t have a blog at that point) I’ll do a quick review now.

The first book in the series “Spying in High Heels” introduces the main character, Maddie Springer. She is a shoe designer who soon gets caught up in a police investigation when her boyfriend is a murder suspect. Maddie feels the need to step in and help solve the case, convinced that her boyfriend is innocent. She constantly bumps into the lead detective on the case, Jack Ramirez and hilarity ensues. 

The second book “Killer in High Heels” begins with Maddie getting a call from her biological father whom she knows nothing about except that he ran off to Vegas with a woman named Lola. The call ends with a loud bang which Maddie is convinced is a gunshot. Worried for her father, she goes to Vegas–only to discover that her father didn’t run off with a woman named Lola, he ran off to become a woman named Lola. The same light humor goes into this novel and the same great characters are present, including sexy cop Jack Ramirez.

“Undercover in High Heels” is the third book in the series. At this point in her life, Maddie is working as a wardrobe assistant on a very popular soap opera. Dead bodies seem to always be turning up where Maddie is and she always feels compelled to ‘help’. In addition to trying to solve the murder, Maddie is juggling a tabloid reporter who is desperate to make his mark and the ever-present Jack Ramirez making feeble attempts at getting Maddie to stay out of his investigation.

The fourth book “Alibi in High Heels” features Maddie participating in a shoe designer’s dream–Fashion Week in Paris. Things seem to be going great for Maddie until–you guessed it–another dead body shows up. This murder appears to frame Maddie, so she is more interested than usual in solving the case. She turns to her friends for help, including the pesky reporter and her cop boyfriend, Jack Ramirez. 

“Mayhem in High Heels” is the fifth book in the series and this time Maddie is getting married to the hot cop in her life, Jack Ramirez. Things are going great with planning the wedding, until of course the wedding planner turns up dead! Maddie goes about trying to solve the case and plan a wedding all at the same time!

All five of these books follow the same formula: fun, ditsy, shoe-obsessed blond is going along in life and stumbles upon a dead body. She then feels the need to solve the murders, for one reason or another. There are funny characters that make appearances throughout the series including her mother, her best friend Dana, not to mention sexy cop Ramirez. It was a light read, and very enjoyable.

The sixth book in the series is the one I originally was writing the review on. “Fearless in High Heels” picks up on Maddie’s story with her living her married life with one on the way. Maddie affectionately refers to her unborn child as “the bump”. She is down in the dumps because she feels huge and her best friend convinces her to go to a new club rather than sit on the couch and watch the new vampire series. They get there and only a few minutes later Maddie stumbles upon a dead body. This one looks like cause of death was a vampire bite. Maddie sees that her husband is practically ignoring this fact and is convinced that he is looking in the wrong spot for the murderer. So Maddie attempts to solve the murder, along with the bump–making Jack Ramirez even more pissed off than usual. It was a quick read, like I found all of these books to be. But enjoyable.

I would recommend this series to anyone who likes to lose herself in a candy novel on occasion. The series is definitely geared more towards a female audience, but that doesn’t mean that guys would not enjoy these books either. I just don’t think that they would truly appreciate all the shoes!

After reading this book, I also went on to read the short stories that had recently been published. They were both cute, but I was kind of disappointed when they were over. Short stories always frustrate me because they end so soon. This was especially frustrating because I already knew the character and wanted to read about her adventures more. The two short stories were “Christmas in High Heels” in which Maddie is still only dating Ramirez (as opposed to being married to him) and “Sweetheart in High Heels” featuring married Maddie trying to solve murders so that she can enjoy her Valentine’s day with her husband. The short stories I wasn’t thrilled with, but again I think a lot of that had to do with the length.

Becky’s Seventh Movie Review: “The Muppets”

The music from the Muppets Movie is still circling my head and I felt that I had to write a review of this movie. When I heard that there was going to be a new Muppets movie I barely paid attention. I really was not expecting to enjoy the movie and went back and forth on the idea of even watching it. But when Adam suggested it tonight I figured, why not? And I’m really glad that we did watch it.

I almost feel like I’m five years old again, sitting in front of the TV with my brothers, singing along. (I have no doubt that I used to). The music in the movie was fun, made me want to dance, and at the same time I wished I knew the words so that I could sing along. There were many classics including one of my personal favorites, “The Rainbow Connection”. When this song was being sung by all the Muppets I almost did burst into song in my living room. The Muppet movie also featured several modern songs done in their own style. I really liked this, especially because there were certain songs that I know kids would not recognize, but were probably included in the movie because the age group that would have listened to the songs were watching the Muppets when they were kids. The barbershop quartet did a version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Team Spirit” and the chickens did a version of Ceelo Green’s “Forget You” (or Fuck You, depending upon which version of the song you listened to). In addition to the music in the movie, there were cameos of various actors/actresses including Neal Patrick Harris, Whoppi Goldberg, Zach Galifianakis, Jack Black, and David Grohl to name a few.

I would highly recommend this movie to people of all ages. It is a great family movie, but that doesn’t mean that young kids need to be present for you to justify watching it. It made me feel like a little kid again and I hope the same goes for you.

Fun movie that makes me feel like a kid again! Four out of five stars.

Becky’s Twentieth Book Review: “A High Heels Haunting” by Gemma Halliday

Gemma Halliday has written the high heels mystery series which now consists of eight books. They are “Spying in High Heels”, “Killer in High Heels”, “Undercover in High Heels”, “Alibi in High Heels”, “Mayhem in High Heels”, “Fearless in High Heels”, “Christmas in High Heels”, and “Sweetheart in High Heels”. So far, I have read the first five books and I just treated myself to the next three kindle versions so I’ll be reviewing them soon enough. “A High Heels Haunting” is a novella that is a spin-off of the High Heels Mystery series. In the High Heels Mystery series the main character is a shoe designer named Maddie Springer. In this novella, the main character–Kya wears shoes designed by Maddie. It is a cute idea for a spin-off and I found it very entertaining.

Kya, our main character is reserved, anti-social, and has low self-esteem. She works in a cubicle designing websites and spends her evenings in her sweatpants with her cat keeping her company. That is until she falls in love with a pair of ‘Maddie Springer’ shoes. Kya slips her feet into the red heels and feels her confidence rise and finds herself doing things that she would normally never dream of doing. Kya goes to a club with some co-workers and falls into modeling as a result. This is where the book gets really interesting and I don’t want to give too much away.

Halliday uses a very similar formula to write this novella as was used in the other High Heel novels. Her writing style is very relaxing and I find I can instantly lose myself in her words. (I love when authors are able to do that).

I would definitely recommend this novella, especially if you wanted to get a taste for Gemma Halliday’s writing without dedicating yourself to a whole novel. This story is short and sweet and very entertaining!

Becky’s Nineteenth Book Review: “Wicked Appetite” by Janet Evanovich

SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE “BETWEEN-THE-NUMBERS” BOOKS AND ARE PLANNING ON IT, DON’T READ THIS (PLUM LOVIN’, PLUM LUCKY, PLUM SPOOKY, VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS)

I’ve got to admit, when I first heard that Janet Evanovich was doing a spin-off series based off of a character in a few of the Stephanie Plum novels I wasn’t thrilled. While I enjoyed reading the “between-the-numbers” books, I really didn’t think I would like a series by her that didn’t have Ranger or Morelli. The character that the new spin-off series is centered around is Diesel. I just wanted more Stephanie Plum novels and so I’ve put off reading “Wicked Appetite” even though I’ve had the kindle version for a few months. I was pleasantly surprised.

Janet Evanovich has a great balance in her novels between comedy, anticipation, action, and lust. “Wicked Appetite” was no exception. The novel was shorter than I would have liked, I actually started it around 11am and finished a few minutes ago (it’s now 2:30pm). But it was a very enjoyable read. There were some really funny moments where I had to stifle my laughter so the people around me didn’t think that I was crazy. (It can’t make a good impression to start laughing at my desk for no apparent reason.)

Evanovich has a knack for getting her audience very involved with the characters in her book. The main character is named Lizzy and she makes amazing cupcakes. Following her in Evanovich’s novel was so much fun. She has entertaining friends, some very interesting encounters and crazy adventures with Diesel. We know that Diesel is an unmentionable from the earlier between-the-numbers series and he comes into Lizzy’s life and turns it upside down. I think that Diesel is really starting to grow on me and I liked that there was a new character introduced in this novel–“Cat 7143”. Quite entertaining.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a Evanovich fan. And I think that there is potential for a wide range of people to enjoy this book. There is no question–it is a chick-lit book, but that doesn’t mean that boys cannot enjoy it too!

Becky’s Sixth Movie Review: “Contraband”

Adam and I watched Contraband last night and I gotta say, one of the best movies that I’ve seen in awhile. Mark Wahlberg is a great actor and I think he played the part well. Other big names in this movie are Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, and Giovanni Ribisi.

The basic premise of the movie is that the main character Chris (Wahlberg) is a retired smuggler who has to get back in the life in order to save his brother-in-law. Andy (the brother-in-law) screwed up smuggling drugs and Chris has to pay the dealer back or he is going to kill Andy. Reflecting upon the plot now, Contraband runs a lot of parallels to Gone in Sixty Seconds. Only instead of cars, it’s drugs.

Contraband has some very interesting twists and by the time Wahlberg is on the ship to Panama I was upright in my seat, eyes glued to the TV set, my heart pounding. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes action movies. My only regret is that we didn’t get to see it in theaters.

Action-packed movie with Mark Wahlberg–I’d give it four out of five stars.

Becky’s Fifth Movie Review: “Cars 2”

Last night I enjoyed watching “Cars 2” for the first time. I thought the movie was very well done. There was the same mix of humor from the first movie–kid friendly jokes and little quirks that only adults would pick up on. I love when animated films do that. “Cars 2” is very different from the first movie in plot, though. Instead of taking place in a little town in the middle of nowhere the cars are traveling all over Europe for a special race. Mater goes with McQueen on his journey to Europe and gets mixed up with some spies.

With the vocal talents of Larry the Cable Guy, Owen Wilson, Michael Caine and John Turturro the movie is full of laugh out loud moments. Would I recommend this movie? Most definitely! The movie is something that people of all ages can enjoy. It is family friendly, but still something that would entertain teenagers and young adults.

A great movie that people of all ages can enjoy. I’d give it four out of five stars.