31 Days of Halloween — Day 6, “Lake Mungo”

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The Palmers are a family struggling to cope with a devastating loss – the death of their 16-year-old daughter Alice in a drowning accident. The little family – mom, dad, and older brother – can’t quite put the pieces back together in the months after her body was found. Mother June refuses to accept that her daughter is really dead, rolling over the … Read More

[E] Slay Belle31 Days of Halloween — Day 6, “Lake Mungo”

Oculus: Or Why I Was Right to be Scared of Mirrors

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Official Synopsis: A brother and sister reunite 11 years after a tragedy in order to destroy the evil mirror responsible for the death of their parents. Snap Synopsis: HAUNTED MIRROR. NOPE. “OH SHIT!” Moments: Lost track. Just never buy antiques or peer into a mirror ever again.

GeekqualityOculus: Or Why I Was Right to be Scared of Mirrors

Ready Player One by Ernest C. Cline

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amandamarieg

Amandamarieg is a lawyer who does not work as a lawyer.She once wrote up a plan to take over the world and turned it in as a paper for a college course.She only received an A-, because she forgot that she would need tech geeks to pull off her scheme.
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This is not my kind of book. In fact, I only read it because someone else insisted I preview it before they give it a try. I have little interest in cyberlaw (just check out my grade in that class) and know very little about videogame culture, and even less about classic arcade culture. (Except for pinball. Love pinball.)

amandamariegReady Player One by Ernest C. Cline

We Try It: BzzAgent

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[E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.
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Do you like to get free stuff? Excellent! You should totally sign up for BzzAgent, a site that matches you with companies that will send you free products or give you access to free services in exchange for reviews.

[E] HillaryWe Try It: BzzAgent

Book Review: While You’re Away, Part 1

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The Unprofessional Critic

Lauren Whalen is a freelance writer living in Chicago. She reviews plays for Chicago Theater Beat (http://www.chicagotheaterbeat.com) and talks about movies on The Film Yap (http://www.thefilmyap.com). Say hi to her at maybeimamazed02(at)gmail(dot)com. (Photo by Greg Inda)
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There’s been a lot of buzz in the past year or so about the “new adult” genre. Seems like it’s still finding its legs. From what I can gather, the characters are a little older than those in young adult. There’s often some sort of college setting. Definitely more sex.

The Unprofessional CriticBook Review: While You’re Away, Part 1

Interview: Susane Colasanti, YA Author, “All I Need”

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The Unprofessional Critic

Lauren Whalen is a freelance writer living in Chicago. She reviews plays for Chicago Theater Beat (http://www.chicagotheaterbeat.com) and talks about movies on The Film Yap (http://www.thefilmyap.com). Say hi to her at maybeimamazed02(at)gmail(dot)com. (Photo by Greg Inda)
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I love YA. Anyone who’s ever said hello to me, seen my bursting bookshelves or gone to a book signing where I’m the oldest one there without a tween in tow, knows that.

The Unprofessional CriticInterview: Susane Colasanti, YA Author, “All I Need”

Books: “Pastors’ Wives” by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

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The Unprofessional Critic

Lauren Whalen is a freelance writer living in Chicago. She reviews plays for Chicago Theater Beat (http://www.chicagotheaterbeat.com) and talks about movies on The Film Yap (http://www.thefilmyap.com). Say hi to her at maybeimamazed02(at)gmail(dot)com. (Photo by Greg Inda)
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I’ve been thinking a lot about religion. For many years I tried to avoid the topic. I grew up Catholic, have 13 years of parochial education, and a degree from a Jesuit university. I felt done. 

The Unprofessional CriticBooks: “Pastors’ Wives” by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

Hot Reads: “Sinner’s Heart” by Zoe Archer

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The Unprofessional Critic

Lauren Whalen is a freelance writer living in Chicago. She reviews plays for Chicago Theater Beat (http://www.chicagotheaterbeat.com) and talks about movies on The Film Yap (http://www.thefilmyap.com). Say hi to her at maybeimamazed02(at)gmail(dot)com. (Photo by Greg Inda)
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There are many downsides to being a critic. Like when you write a theater review that has people accusing you of being a soulless hipster AND a Starbucks-swilling millenial. Thanks, Internet! But you know what I like about my part-time gig?

The Unprofessional CriticHot Reads: “Sinner’s Heart” by Zoe Archer