Review: August – Osage County

August: Osage CountyAugust: Osage County by Tracy Letts

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After reading this play, I was reminded of why I love to read in the first place – Entertainment. Life is hard enough, with all of its issues and disappointments, without having to read about depressing dysfunctional families. While I agree that some drama is always needed in theater, this story is just too depressing and really does not offer any real resolution of problems. I suggest that you be in a real good frame of mind before picking this little saga to read.

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Review: Impromtu

Impromptu.Impromptu. by Tad Mosel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I directed this one-act play in high school, and thought I would revisit it today. It is a short read about 4 actors that are taken out of their comfort zone. Being that I have undergraduate degrees in both, Musical Theatre and Psychology, I have always found this play to be fascinating. Actors always want to be “in character” but in this situation they are forced to play themselves through the improvisation of a play. Typecasting runs rampant in this story, until the actors slowly turn about. All in all, they learn much about themselves and each other in only 27 pages.

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Review: Permed to Death

Permed to Death
Permed to Death by Nancy J. Cohen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a typical who-done-it that lacked the humorous dialogue which, in my opinion, somewhat defines a cozy mystery. While I liked the beauty salon setting, I felt that the main character lacked complexity, and was a bit unlikable. Another issue was the plethora of stereotyped characters in unlikely situations that were introduced shortly thereafter, which made for a confusing time and did not add much value to the plot itself. I did enjoy the smattering of Yiddish expressions throughout, which although irrelevant, I thought added a bit of interest to the story. I must say, however, that it was difficult for me to finish this book, as it really did not hold my interest. I do not believe that I would take the time to read another book in this particular series.

Disclaimer: This Audiobook was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest unbiased review.

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Review: Hex on the Ex

Hex on the Ex
Hex on the Ex by Rochelle Staab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As usual, Staab hits it out of the ballpark with her third installment in the Mind for Murder Mystery series. Although, I am not a huge sports fan of any kind, I found that this book kept my interest quite well regardless. The writing was solid, the characters were well developed, and the mystery was fascinating. I also enjoy the spark of the spiritual and occult, which always teaches me something that I did not know. In addition, there is always great chemistry and humorous dialogue between the main characters. I have really enjoyed this entire series, and hope that the author will continue with it.

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Review: The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I have never read any of Simses’ work before, but I have to say that I was a bit disappointed by the slow pacing of the story and the lack of character development. The protagonist was a one-dimensional character that was difficult to pin down, as many of her personality traits were conflicted. Like others, I wanted to know more about mystery of Ellen’s grandmother, but that never materialized. I found this book to be very predictable, and difficult to get through. The plot was the age-old rehash of a typical romance premise, and the ending was exactly as expected. The book was turned into a movie for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel, but I must say that it was just as boring, if not more, as the novel.

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Review: Pick Your Poison

Pick Your Poison
Pick Your Poison by Leann Sweeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As an avid reader of Leanne Sweeney’s Cats in Trouble Mystery Series, I thought I would also try her Yellow Rose Mystery Series. I am glad I did. I loved the characters, and could actually picture them in my mind. The story kept me engaged throughout, and offered a satisfying surprise ending. I am moving on to the second book in the series with gusto!

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