The Crisscross Shadow (Hardy Boys #32) by Franklin W. Dixon


The Crisscross Shadow (Hardy Boys #32) by Franklin W. Dixon
Publisher/Year: Grosset & Dunlap, 1997 (1953 original pub.)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 177
Rating: 🌟🌟


When a man selling leather goods door-to-door steals the key to their detective father’s file cabinet, Frank and Joe Hardy set out to track him down.

An odd mark on a key case which the man sold to their mother leads the teen-age sleuths to an Indian village, whose chief begs them to help him. Two strangers have claimed title to the Indians’ land, the deed to which had been secretly buried by the chief’s father, along with other valuable tribal possessions, shortly before he died. The only clue to the location is that a crisscross shadow marks the site when the October full moon is low in the sky.

How Frank and Joe find the missing deed and the other Ramapan treasures, how they prevent the phony leather-goods salesman from carrying out a ruthless scheme, and how they help their father solve the top-secret case he is working on for the U.S. government makes exciting reading for all fans of the Hardy boys.

What I thought

Reading this as an adult, this is just an “okay” read for me. I was entertained for a while, and it was an easy read. I like going back & visiting children’s classics, in case I ever have kids of my own.

The writing seems a little dated, but I didn’t mind that. I like that it takes you back to a simpler time.

Although I probably won’t re-read this anytime soon, it was a fun & entertaining read. I honestly wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen, even though this is one of those where you know everything will work out in the end. This would be a good way to spend an afternoon–caught up in a good old-fashioned mystery/adventure.

The Way We Fall by Cassia Leo


The Way We Fall by Cassia Leo
Publisher/Year: Cassia Leo, 2015
Format: E-book (Nook)
Pages: 206 (Nook edition)
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟



Synopsis (from Goodreads)

From New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo comes a twisted and passionate love story that pushes the boundaries of loyalty.

Maybe we shouldn’t have fallen so fast and so willingly.

Maybe we shouldn’t have moved in together before we went on our first date.

Maybe we should have given our wounds time to heal before we tore each other to shreds.

Maybe we should have never been together.

Houston has kept a devastating secret from Rory since the day he took her into his home. But the tragic circumstances that brought them together left wounds too deep to heal.

Five years after the breakup, Houston and Rory are thrust together by forces beyond their control. And all the resentments and passion return with more intensity than ever.

Once again, Houston is left with a choice between the truth and the only girl he’s ever loved.

The Way We Fall is the first book in The Story of Us series, which follows the tumultuous love story of Rory and Houston. The sequel, The Way We Break, will be released Spring 2015.

What I thought

I have no problem admitting that I enjoy a good guilty pleasure read every once in a while. And as a steamy, angsty new adult romance, The Way We Fall perfectly fit the bill.

Although certainly nothing earth shattering, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Cassia Leo’s writing, given that I downloaded this for free on my Nook. I was pretty hooked to the story. Some things didn’t sit perfectly well with me, but I was able to put that aside & just enjoy the story. I will say that this is more of a novella-length book & the ending brings no resolution, it just sets up for the next book. That doesn’t bother me, just be forewarned if that’s something that bothers you.

Like I said, I really enjoyed this book, from all the sexy scenes to all the drama & angst. I will definitely be reading the next book! If you are able to enjoy a new adult romance without getting too critical, definitely pick this up–it makes for a great escape!

The Talisman by Stephen King & Peter Straub


The Talisman by Stephen King & Peter Straub
Publisher/Year: Berkley Books, 1985
Format: Mass market paperback
Pages: 770
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟


Synopsis (from Goodreads)

On a brisk autumn day, a thirteen-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: his father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America–and into another realm.

One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother’s life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more.

Let the quest begin. . . .


What I thought

Update – 2017 

There’s something about summertime reading that puts me in the mood for epic adventures,
so it was high time for another visit to see Jack Sawyer.

In looking back over my previous review, my thoughts, including my rating,
have stayed pretty much the same. There were a few things of note for me this time.
If it’s possible to do so, I loved Wolf even more. I’ve always loved Jack, but I was actually surprised by how much I appreciated Richard’s character this time. I had so much more empathy for him–I felt pretty sorry for the kid.

As for my rating, it stays the same ultimately because I much prefer Stephen King’s writing when he’s working alone than when he’s writing with Peter Straub. I can’t quite put my finger on why,
but I know I can tell the difference between their writing styles.

All told, I still very much enjoyed this novel the second time around & I think that’s a sign you’ve got an excellent book in your hands.

Initial review – 2011


Hear that? That was me finally releasing the breath I’d been holding for the last 300 pages.

This book may be thick as a brick, but it reads very quickly. At first, I have to admit, I wasn’t too sure of it. As you all probably are aware, I’m a <i>huge</i> Stephen King fan, but I haven’t read anything by Peter Straub. I was a bit nervous and a bit excited to see how the two worked together. And at first, it was a little jarring for me. It didn’t take long for me to settle down into the story, however, and get sucked into this epic tale. Speaking of which, this journey of a boy on a noble quest is certainly a perfect story for those who enjoy tales of epic proportions. I was actually pleasantly surprised, as well, by how much this book reminded me of The Dark Tower series but also by how it was as much its own tale.

There were characters to love and characters to despise. The character development that I love so much in King’s tales were definitely present here. Jack was the perfect protagonist, leaving readers rooting for him along the way, but also with enough flaws to make him seem real. Besides Jack, though, my favorite character (right here and now) was most definitely Wolf. He’s such a loveable, goofy, yet loyal guy—my favorite kind of sidekick.

Besides the characterization, the descriptive passages are to die for and the stream-of-consciousness parts worked well, producing the effect they were meant to. I was transported into this story, totally and completely. I mean, I was there. My heart would race, my heart would fall, my heart would leap. This is one of those stories you just can’t help but react to, although it was quite as scary as I was expecting. Scary in the sense that there are some really really evil characters, but I wasn’t quite as scared reading this as I have been reading some of King’s other books. I couldn’t stop thinking about it after I put it down. I’d be at working, daydreaming (no pun intended) about the Territories. I didn’t want it to end. But now that it has, I supposed I have The Black House to look forward to…

Once again, I would definitely recommend this to fans of epic tales, the Dark Tower series or Stephen King in general.