26 June, 2022

Burying Eva Flores by Jennifer Alsever - [Book Review]

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Book Details:

Title: Burying Eva Flores

Author: Jennifer Alsever

Genre: Paranormal suspense, Fiction, thriller

Publisher: Sawatch Publishing

Print length: 386 pages

Source: Review copy from the author

Blurb :

Everyone thinks I killed Eva Flores.

Sure, I hate how everyone was over the moon about her TikTok fame. And I suppose I got a little bit carried away with vengeance when she tried to ruin my life.

But seriously, when my friend gave me that leather journal, I’d never had so much power in my life. It was intoxicating. Who wouldn’t have done what I did to Eva?

Now everyone thinks that just because she vanished in the forest after a party, that I killed her. That the blood on the jackets is proof. Or the text messages. The slightly weird thing I had with Eva's dad. The fire.

The whole thing is far more complicated than you’d think.

What happened to the horribly obnoxious, very complicated Eva Flores? I can't really say.

Perfect for fans of Holly Jackson and Karen M. McManus, this book will grab you and won't let you go!

Purchase Link:

My Review :

The new high school girl in the town and a TikTok influencer Eva disappears suddenly. Eva's dance moves on TikTok videos attract many and so, she is popular with many fans. 

But, no one could understand how the rivalry started between Eva and Sophia Palmer. Sophia is not an attention seeker and loves fixing cars. She is opposite in character to Eva. When Eva's stepdad Manny is seduced by Sophia, everyone thinks that Sophia is jealous of Eva and trying to destroy her life.

But, these high school students are after all kids with their shortcomings, insecurities, and fears. Who can be trusted and who not? Who has more secrets that the outside world is not aware of? What reveals from the investigation of the disappearance of Eva Flores is the remaining story.

The story doesn't seem very complicated as you read my review, but the author definitely made it unpredictable and engaging. The book is unputdownable and the characters have many layers which surprise readers.

The Magic Journal which makes everything written in it true in real life makes the story mysterious. I liked the climax where humanity wins. 

I loved the book cover. Amazing design and completely apt. The title cannot be better than that. This is my first young adult fiction and I had never picked a book of this genre earlier. I am glad I accepted to review this copy. 

I would recommend this to high schoolers and teenagers. 

My Rating:


About the Author:

Jennifer Alsever is the Colorado-based young adult author of Extraordinary Lies and the Trinity Forest Series, which includes Ember Burning, Oshun Rising, and Venus Shining. She is also a national journalist who has contributed to such publications as Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.

Check out her books at www.jenniferalsever.com and www.TrinityForestSeries.com.

Until next time,

20 June, 2022

The Gardens and Sculptures - Zilker Park & Umlauf Sculpture Garden in Austin, TX

 Here it is - My Latest travelogue from Austin.

Zilker Park came on the top of the list from the suggestions of friends on places to visit in Austin. Umlauf Sculpture Garden has some good reviews too, but our visit was a coincidence.

Starting our travels this summer, we drove downtown on a Saturday noon to visit Zilker Park. We weren't sure where to park, thus, we drove towards a parking lot opposite Umlauf Sculpture Garden, which is also the parking for Barton creek swim area.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is an art museum and an outdoor sculpture garden, with the artistic works of an Americal sculptor - Charles Umlauf. This garden is adjacent to Zilker Park. 

This peaceful 6-acre garden has over 40 sculptures set under shady native Texan plants. The area is serene and very relaxing. 

Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for students below 13 years. Parking is limited but there is free parking available on the opposite side of the road.

 Zilker Park

This 351-acre park is the most loved park in Austin. But, beware, as it's always crowded.

Entry is $5 per car. The place is popular for botanical gardens, Barton Springs pool, fields for volleyball, disc golf, and nature trails.

We can also board the mini train called Zilker eagle which circles the park. Zilker hillside theater, Mcbeth Recreation center, and Zilker nature preserve are some other attractions.

I loved strolling through the rose garden, herb garden, Japanese garden, and Hartman Prehistoric garden. We also loved the Woodland Faerie trail which will be on display every year till August. Every year Faerie architects create homes for fairies. Aren't these mini-homes artistic?

Hope you like these photos. Let me know in the comments how they are!

Until next time,

Linking this to #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne at everydaygyaan.

14 June, 2022

Top Gun and The Great Indian Kitchen #MondayMusings

 It has been 3 weeks since we returned from India, still, our brains are set in Vacation mode. Not our fault, when we are pampered so much by the family members :-)

We took one week of complete rest watching just movies and tidying up the home. Overcoming Jet lag also took around 5 days, so you can guess that one week has gone so quick.

So, this post is about a relaxing week that we had and 2 movies that I watched.

Top Gun

Have you watched Top Gun by Tom Cruise? It's an old movie of course, but fortunately, I managed to watch it along with my kids. 80's movies are much different than our current movies. We all loved it. The plot, actors, photography, and action scenes are very good.

Since Top Gun: Maverick (sequel to Top Gun) is released the same week, we all watched our first movie after covid in a theater. It's a great experience. The first half is a little slow like 80's movies but it slowly catches up in the second half. 

The combination of emotions and action is well depicted. Like everyone else, I also couldn't see much difference in Tom Cruise when compared to part 1. Part 1 spirit is maintained and emotions are carried from it.

It is not that easy to explain war strategies to the movie audience in an engaging way with emotions. Top Gun team has done well in that aspect. The background score is a big plus to the movie. 

Overall, a must-watch for anyone who loves action with emotions. 

The Great Indian Kitchen

This movie is on Netflix and you can catch it in Malayalam with English Subtitles if you haven't watched it yet.

What's the movie about?

There are only a few characters and the female protagonist is an educated lady who enjoys classical dance and teaching. It is her story of trying to be a submissive wife married to a person in a traditional Kerala family. Like any other bride, she tries to adapt to new customs and traditions but reaches a saturation point atlast. 

This is directed by Joe Baby and it is critically acclaimed for the way it is bang on patriarchy and the rules set for women in the majority of traditional families.

This movie talks about many subtle things about patriarchy that women can relate to. Cleaning the dirty dining table , washing the dishes, mopping the floor, cooking, and performing Pooja in the evening.. there is no end to the list of tasks that we see the protagonist performing.

The movie also touched on the traditions related to menstruation. The age-old practice of sleeping on the floor during periods, and not being allowed to touch anything, etc., The scene where the woman is scolded for trying to help her husband get up when he falls from the bike sparks our thoughts on why menstruation practices are considered more important than taking care of another person.

I also liked the way the movie ended. The man marries another woman and our heroine takes out her anger on her in-laws and starts her life as a dance teacher as she wanted to. It feels bad that the man marries another woman, but that's how society is and the movie didn't try to hide the truth for a good climax.

Overall, it's not an entertaining movie but a natural movie that Indian women can very well relate to. This movie tries its best to show the ignored unpaid work done by homemakers with a zooming lens.

If you are an Indian woman, then it's a must-watch. If you don't prefer natural movies with social issues, this is not for you.

Until next time,


Linking to #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne at everydaygyaan.com

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