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Book Review

Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in BloodAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1
Published by Tor Teen on October 17th 2011
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
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Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas's life.

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Book Review

Yes Please

Yes PleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler
Published by Dey St. on October 28th 2014
Genres: Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction
Pages: 329
Format: Hardcover
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In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.

“Good for you, not for me” is a tidbit of advice Poehler gives throughout her delightfully funny memoir. This advice strikes a chord with me, as it helps me to realize that not everything is good for everyone.

I was sucked into Yes Please immediately and finished reading it in a single day.

Poehler’s book is a collection of memorable essays regarding her experiences. Poehler goes into detail about personal anecdotes from her SNL and Upright Citizens Brigade days, as well as a number of other hilarious tales collected throughout her lifetime.

I laughed out loud more than once while reading Yes Please.

Poehler’s comic flair comes across incredibly in her writing and her memoir is entertaining from start to finish. Poehler keeps her story light, even when discussing her darker times.

I really enjoyed reading about her comic comrades, including Tina Fey and Seth Meyers. I also loved her tales about a handful of SNL hosts. Poehler also includes a chapter regarding her adoration for her Parks and Recreation cast-mates.

Judging from not only her acting but also her writing, Poehler is incredibly witty and talented.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Poehler or needs a hearty laugh.

Love, Maggie

Book Review

The Secret History

The Secret HistoryThe Secret History by Donna Tartt
Published by Vintage on April 13th 2004
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 559
Format: Hardcover
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Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last - inexorably - into evil.

I delved into The Secret History with high expectations, perhaps too high, and was sorely disappointed.

I should have taken a cue from my boredom with Tartt’s The Goldfinch and understood that the author’s writing style does not vary from book to book. As with The Goldfinch, The Secret History is filled with description and dialogue, but with little plot advancement or character development.

I found myself growing tired of the story after the first chapter, anxious for some excitement. That desired excitement never came to fruition.

I anticipated learning a lot while reading Tartt’s debut novel. The story centers around a secretive group of a handful of studiers of Greek under the tutelage of a single teacher.

Instead of exploring ancient undertones, the tale seems to revolve around the main college-age characters imbibing in alcohol and cigarettes and having dinner parties.

“Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.” To its credit, The Secret History does have some beautiful quotes, but I’ve learned my lesson to stop reading Donna Tartt’s work, unfortunately.

Love, Maggie