Category Archives: entertainment

#Review: The Returned by Jason Mott. 3/5 stars #thereturned

The Returned
The Returned by Jason Mott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really love stories whose premises involve mysterious resurrections and worldwide chaos as the result. This story is not your typical story of the rise of the undead, so if you’re expecting horror or zombies, search elsewhere.

This story intrigued me from the get-go and I was committed to loving it. But the reality of my reading experience is that I was bored and the pages turned were turned in the fervent hope that something really cool that could explain the return would be there. It never was.

Reading the author’s epilogue and his inspiration for the story, I found a completely different story potential than what this book actually is. Way too much time is spent on the details of the makeshift prison. Too many details I wanted to see explained or at least explored were simply passed over. Why are there unending numbers of Returned? What are the details of their stay, their behaviors, their disappearances? Things that were very lightly brushed upon, but never a satisfying in-depth look.

I enjoyed the characters and their development. I could sense the tension between Harold and Lucille, and I could taste the disappointment in the pastor and his wife’s marriage. It was all very palpable and it’s ridiculously clear that Jason Mott is a talented writer.

But I was left with the heavy burden of unresolved questions and dissatisfying resolutions.

I think Mr. Mott should write a story based on the dream he wrote about in the epilogue and build on that premise instead of the overanalyzed mishmash of details we were served in The Returned.

Nonetheless I am looking forward to the tv adaptation!

I was provided this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Consuming The Walking Dead! Just Can’t Get Enough.


I think I’m an introvert at heart.

Sure, sure, I am capable of socializing and engaging with people, and rather well… but give me the option, and I will sit with myself and think (and think) and think (and think) about a whole bunch of things.  Every once in a while, I get stuck on something and I truly pour my heart and soul into it.  I research and I “network” all about these topics.

When my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, I researched for hours.  I linked up with people whose young children were going through treatment or had gone through treatment similar to my daughter’s and I read and read.  When I was pregnant for the second time after a cesarean section with my first, I drove myself, my husband, my family, and my friends absolutely batshit with my inability to stop. talking. about it.

My current mental obsession?  AMC’s The Walking Dead.  Man, I love this show.  It is hands-down the goriest visual entertainment I have ever experienced … and it’s on basic cable!  I’m terrified by it, I am stressed out by it, and I am fascinated with it.

Given that zombies are not real, each show or book on the topic is required to set up its own rules and its own lore.  I’m one of those sticklers for accuracy.  Those annoying people that says, “Wait, if they’re not able to figure out how to open a door, how did that one just get inside?” and then I go online and I seek out others who’ve found the same holes that I have, and then we fanwank.

At the moment, my two favorite places for both fanwank, continuity, digging deeper into plotholes, etc, are:

TelevisionWithoutPity Forums, and Roamers & Lurkers

Are there any other forums out there you know of for The Walking Dead?  Do you participate with others regarding your favorite shows?

Late Night Saturday Night

It’s nearing 11:30pm and my 7-year-old shows no signs of being tired.

This is nothing new for her; she’s been a night owl since the beginning of [her] time.  At not-yet-1-year, she was outpacing me for the New Years’ Eve celebrations.  The plus side was her ability to sleep in till 9 or 10 in the morning.  Excellent for weekends – not so wonderful for, later, getting up to get to school.

But I digress.

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

Tonight we are up, awake, and watching Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.  We saw this in the theatre last summer, and it was fun enough.  Quirky 3rd graders are my favorite kind of role models for my daughter.  Humor, good self-esteem, not a care in the world for what someone might think of her unkempt hair or ridiculous outfits.  Add to that her seemingly good-natured relationship with her little brother, and I feel comfortable indulging.

By the way, I love grown-up Steve Urkel.  He pulls this whole movie back full circle.

The movie is fast-paced and silly, and the color scheme is obnoxious(ly fun)!  Nobody in real life lives like these people, but there’s juuuuust enough reality to keep us connected.  Judy’s planning for a thrilling summer with her best friends and Frog Pee Club members, until two of them inform her that they’re not going to be in town for the summer.  Judy’s ridiculously disappointed.  Until her Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) arrives.

With Opal, Judy and her remaining best friend (who didn’t go out of town for the summer) go on adventures that will create memories that will surely last a lifetime.  Chasing Bigfoot, riding a vomituous rollercoaster, building a Bigfoot statue in the front yard, and decorating the huge mundane stone statues in the middle of town are just a short list of what awaits Judy, her good friend, and her little brother Stink.

We rate Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer at 4/5!  

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