The Immortal Rules (Review)
reviews* / April 13, 2015

The Immortal Rules is not the usual kind of vampire book. First of all, Allison – the narrator – doesn’t start out as a vampire, and actually rather hates them. She becomes a vampire, but is filled with self-loathing for much of the first half of the book. There isn’t the romanticism towards vampires in this book that there is in so many other series. They’re not seen as something to aspire to, or something seductive. They’re just plain old scary.

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape (Review)
reviews* / January 7, 2015

Title: Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape Author: Jenna Miscavige Hill Narrator: Sandy Rustin Publication Year: 2013 Pages: 416 (audio length: 12 hours) Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir Source: Audiobook version purchased from Audible.com From the cover: Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org — the church’s highest ministry, speaks of her “disconnection” from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape. In this tell-all memoir, complete with family photographs from her time in the Church, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the organization, offers an insider’s profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood’s brightest stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta. If I wasn’t already skeptical about Scientology when I started reading this book, it would have completely won me over. Beyond Belief is a terrifying story about how an…

MaddAddam (Review)
reviews* / January 5, 2015

The dark humour and attention to detail that Atwood is known for is definitely one of the strong points of this book. It just made the crazy things happening seem more realistic. Really, it’s one of the best dystopias I’ve ever read, and I do love them, so that’s saying a lot.

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (Review)
reviews* / December 22, 2014

Title: Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation Author: Michael Pollan Publication Year: 2013 Pages: 480 Genre: Non-Fiction Source: E-book version purchased from Kobobooks.com From the cover: In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements — fire, water, air, and earth — to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse-trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an…

Blood Pact (Review)
reviews* / November 28, 2014

I don’t normally like zombie stories, but on occasion I give them a shot anyways. In this case, I started reading Blood Pact without knowing that zombies would be involved. I would have read it anyways, though, since it’s part of a series that I was enjoying. And, as it turns out, there are some rather important things that happen in this book that you need to know in order to read the final book in the series, so … I guess too bad for you if you don’t like zombies.