Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cowboys, Cross-Dressing Whips, and Young Love! Marathon Review Time!

4 STARS! Stagecoach drivers, or whips, were heroes of the old west, and Charlie Parkhurst was one of the best. The world knew Charlie as a man until her obituary announced the truth. The Whip throws us into this amazing woman's life from the moment her infant body was left at church door steps in 1812 all the way to her death in 1879. With tenacity and a gentle heart, she survives childhood, falls in love with horses, hides away in the doldrums of life as an unmarried woman in that day, and finally ventures into uncharted territory with no map. Author Karen Kondazian somehow created an epic in 302 pages because my heart soared and tore to pieces. I cheered and cried and boy did I blush. I wanted so badly to know Charlie. The Whip is a striking tale of a girl who always went the way of her heart. She's a new hero of mine that's for sure.

4 STARS! Sheriff Walt Longmire is always my hero. Whether he's struggling with flashbacks of his time in Vietnam or clumsily dating someone he shouldn't, he's always on the side of right. And he's not just my hero either. In The Dark Horse (book 5 in the Longmire Series) a woman who's repeatedly confessed to unloading a rifle into her husband seems an unlikely candidate for Walt to choose to save, but there he goes riding off with his badge, gun, and dog ready to rescue the damsel. I love that Walt travels to a rundown town where even cars prefer not to tread. I enjoyed seeing a glimpse of cowboy Walt Longmire, and at the same time I struggled with all that cowboy stuff, especially the horse talk. But I'll tell you, the last third spun me around and led me by the nose all the way to the end. Craig Johnson continues to be one of my favorite authors and Walt one of my favorite characters.


4 STARS The First Time is not your typical teen chick flick. The depth and easy dialogue reminded me of YA contemporary romance novels. I loved the flow and authenticity of the characters' emotions and reactions. The girl has an older boyfriend (a relationship that totally bothered me) and the boy has an insane crush on the girl next door who is more interested in washboard abs than her super cute and sweet guy friend. Not original, but no one turned into a raging anything. There was no backstabbing or cattiness, just teens figuring things out and not all that gracefully. The parents weren't evil pod people. They were part clueless, part helpless, and part wonderful. The boy was respectful with just a dash of stupid. The girl was the same. I'd watch it again for sure!

3 STARS for The Oranges. We have two families who live across from each other. The girls grew up best friends until high school. The socialite in the duo moved up the social ladder and then moved out of her house as soon as legally possible. The one left behind stayed behind. The husbands are best friends. They're kindhearted and unhappy. The wives appear to be close. They're controlling and bitchy. Of course. Social/party girl returns home with a broken stupid heart. She thinks her former best friend's dad is the hottest thing since the last guy she dated. They throw caution to the wind and make out. This movie pissed me off. There's no way around it. The reason I'm giving it 3 stars and not 1 is because the left behind daughter gets just as pissed as me and calls her former friend such vile things, I cheered. The insults were ripped right out of my head I tell you. I loved the swear combinations and that alone is why I'm awarding the 3 stars. Clever swearing! 


  1. Great Marathon as usual! :) I've searched for Craig Johnson books, but haven't come across any yet. With the way you talk about Sheriff Walt Longmire, I always find myself looking forward to reading the series.

    Sorry you didn't enjoy Oranges. I'm not sure I've heard of The First Time.

    Thanks for sharing, Robyn. :)

    1. I hope you eventually stumble onto one of his books because I think you will really enjoy it. Craig Johnson is great at the mystery aspect, but excels with his characters. Plus he makes me laugh and cry all in one book.

      The Oranges was a hard one for me to rate because it was well done, the actors were great, but the movie made me talk back to the screen in a mean way. I figure a lot of people enjoy that kind of antagonism.

  2. Robyn, you write such clever titles for you post! LOL

    I'm definitely going to check out The Whip. I was hooked on this story when we talked about it at lunch. :) And I may just have to check out Craig Johnson's series sometime as well.

    As for the movies...well, you know I don't watch 'em. But I'd like to watch The Oranges purely for the creative swearing! LOL Especially if they're something you'd have said. The First Time sounds rather charming. Perhaps I should watch that one with Sky...hmm...

    1. The Whip was certainly a step outside my usual, and I'm glad I ventured that way. After reading the blurb I requested my library to purchase it and I was so excited to see it waiting for me on my account. The power of the public library! As for Craig Johnson, I'm a true blue fan. I laughed on the first page of the first book. I bawled my eyes out too. I think The First Time is a great discussion opener. And the romance isn't over the top or some tragic thing. Sky would probably appreciate that. But the creative swearing, those were the only parts I laughed (and cheered). I wanted to be right there going, "Yeah, what she said!"