#Review: The Time Keeper #fiction #book


Title:  The Time Keeper

Author: Mitch Albom

Genre: Inspirational Fiction, Time Travel

Pages: 224

Reading Level: Teen, Adult

Content: PG (adult situations and content)

This book was sweet. A fan of time travel stories, this take on the legend of Father Time takes you in a direction you wouldn’t expect. This story is less about time travel and more about man’s understanding of time and how we use it to define every moment of our existence. It all begins with the first man who dares to count the hours of the day and what happens when his desire to control time costs him what he thinks he loves more than anything else.

This story is told in two parts and the second of these parts is broken down into three points of view. Don’t let me confuse you. Basically, you have the story of how it all began and then you have the story of how it all ends as told from the point of view of: Father Time, a teenage girl, and a rich old man. The story is just as complex and fascinating as it sounds. You’ll definitely walk away from this story giving much thought to how you spend the moments of your life.

I won’t pretend that many of the aspects of the girl and old man’s life weren’t a bit cliché, but it worked well for the overall narrative. I don’t think this is a story you need to spend too much time thinking about. Once everything is cleared away and the story is concluded, the meaning and message behind it all is clear.

This is not a YA read, but I’d definitely recommend it to some young readers as well as many adults. It’s a short read too.

I listened to this book and it was a bargain buy on CD (glad I still have one of those in my car).

I give this book a 4.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like a Kindle copy of this book, try this link: Amazon.

Get a print copy with free international shipping at this link: Book Depository.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Moonstruck #Review – Mock Squid Soup No.16 #cinephiles #film #romcom


I can’t believe I’m going to follow in the talented footsteps of the great Cherdo, but this month I decided to review Moonstruck because I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed it before.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching Moonstruck, click here to see my notes.

This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

1. What is this film about?

A middle-aged widow gets engaged to a close friend and is tasked with inviting the brother, not knowing there is bad blood there. Once they meet, she realizes she may have the wrong brother, but isn’t willing to risk causing bad luck to her future.

2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?

When I first saw this movie it had long become a VHS top seller. I was too young to see it when it originally released, so I don’t remember my impressions of the trailer and poster back then. However, when I look at the movie poster now, I think whimsy and calamity all in the name of love- New York, Italian style.

3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?

I must admit I love pretty much all of the performances in this movie. I like the idea of Cher being a mild-mannered accountant knowing that in real-life she’s the exact opposite. As for Nicolas Cage, I think it’s one of his better comedic performances. If he’s supposed to be taken seriously, I didn’t get the message. And the rest of this cast is outstanding. I really felt like these people were a real family, even with being familiar with their other roles.

4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?

I liked how the movie felt so real. I feel like there are no special filters here or ultra-bright lights or colors, yet the film still feels colorful.

5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?

I adore this soundtrack. La Bohme isn’t the first opera I encountered, but after seeing this movie, I grew to appreciate opera even more. Also, I think “That’s Amore” is a pop classic.

6. What did I like about the story as a whole?

I like that the story was over the top and outrageous but delivered in a very nonchalant manner. The story is funny not just because of the one-liners, but it’s funny because it’s a reflection and exaggeration of the reality of the time.

7. What did I not like about the story?

I never liked that Cosmo got off so easy. All religions aside, going to confession would not be enough these days. There would be some counseling, healing, and regaining of trust.

8. Would I recommend this movie to others?

Absolutely. Why wouldn’t I?

9. If yes, who? What would I rate this movie?

I hope most people over the age of 30 have seen this movie. If I know them and they haven’t, we’re having a movie night. But honestly, I’d recommend this to anyone over 15.

On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give this film 5 reels.


10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to me or anything I have written?

Well, let’s see…
One of the major influences of my book, It’s Like the Full Moon, is this movie. It helped me decide on the title and so much more.

Watch, rent, or buy this movie here.

Mock Squid Soup – Film Society

MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to introduce Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society. Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to movie reviews. We invite others to participate and post their reviews…Don’t be shy; come join the fun! 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 9- When have you lost or found love?

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: “When have you lost or found love?”

Love is such a general term; it’s difficult for me to talk about it without going off on crazy tangents.

I’ve been blessed. I met the love of my life in college, and while I couldn’t stand him at first, we became friends and later fell in love. There really is something special about falling in love with someone you’re such good friends with, but not all love has to be romantic.

I’ve also lost love in my time. I’ve lost friends, people who I thought would always be there for me and vice versa. Alas, when the right circumstances present themselves, you find out exactly where you stand in someone else’s life. That’s not to say that I don’t have some devoted friends, but it still hurts to figure out how not devoted some are.

For me, family is the embodiment of love. I don’t always like or even agree with my family, but I love them and appreciate them so much. It saddens me when I see other people being hateful towards family members, or try to avoid family at all cost, or have a complete disconnect from the people they are related to by blood. However, I also appreciate the fact that not all family members have to be people you are related to by blood. People can say what they will about those “Fast and Furious” movies, but they are a wonderful representation of how family sticks together- if you ignore everything else that’s going on in the movie, hopefully, that message comes across.

Revisiting romantic love briefly, I just wanted to point out that my husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day as a couple. It’s too much of a hassle and is no reflection on the true nature of our relationship. We celebrated it once when we were still dating before we were even engaged. We vowed then to never do it again. We do special and romantic stuff for each other all the time- we’re cool…

With that said, we love to see how other people celebrate it. We love hearing stories of how others have expressed their love and celebrated this holiday.

If you’re interested and have the time, please check out my last BooktagsBlogHop post and perhaps join in.

Also, please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Review: Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe) by Rosamund Hodge

I give this book a solid 5.


I listened to the audio version of this book so that may have had an effect on the comments I make below.

I don’t usually make comments on the narrator because I try to focus on the story at hand, but I really enjoyed the reading of this story. The narrator gave a wonderful and engaging performance.

A dark twist on the Beauty and the Beast tale, Cruel Beauty tells the story of Nyx, a daughter raised as a sacrifice and tribute to the demon ruler of a world in captivity. Filled with hatred and contempt, but bound by duty and a sincere desire to do at least one noble thing in her life, Nyx sets out to destroy her would be husband and then die, with no hope for anything greater.

I know there will be no way for me to fully describe how much I truly enjoyed this story so I’ll just babble on a bit and then stop.  The first thing that I noticed about this story is that it was promoted to me as a YA/New Adult book. I haven’t had the best of luck with these kinds of titles. They are either too teen or too adult for my liking, but this book is what New Adult should be, though I’m sure some will argue for a little more steam and I’d  let them.

I describe this book as a dark twist to a fairy tale for two basic reasons. Traditional fairy tales aren’t that lighthearted, but recently people have forgotten what fairy tales once were, mostly due to the success of the Disney Corporation. Now, I’m not hating on Disney, but some of the things they’ve done to fairy tales is ridiculous.

  1. I want readers to understand that this is a dark story and not because of explicit violence and heavy gore. This story is dark because it touches on the truth of people’s nature and the sense of self-loathing, hatred, and disgust that could arise in any of us at any time given the right circumstances.
  2. This story is also dark because it challenges you to face the reality of choices you make every day and to see whether or not you are always as virtuous as you may think you are.

This book did something to me that not many books have. It made me look forward to reading and experiencing the romance that was taking place between the characters. I think I was pulled into this romance because it’s not at all what you’d expect it to be; especially after you learn that there are others involved you hadn’t expected to even be factors in the equation.

I loved the fact that I really hated Nyx’s family. I don’t use the word hate a lot and I am talking about a work of fiction, but even with all the twists that take place, I’m still not fond of her family, and I love it. This is one of those stories where none of the characters are truly worth rooting for when you get deep down to their souls and see the things they’ve done because they are all human and so beautifully flawed. Even with their lack of virtue, there is still a clear sense that all these lives are still worth saving, simply for the sake of living.

This author may become one of my faves. I’ll definitely have to see what else I can get my hands on from this author. At this point I’ve stopped trying to describe this book and want to say, just read it if you dare. It’s not for kids, and men may not cling to it, but if you are open to really trying something new and different, and have an appreciation for mythology, fairy tales, complicated romance, and or fantasy, then give this book a try.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Tea and Conversation 21: Italy


Today I’m sharing a picture of “biscottea” by stephsus I posted on my tea pin board.

Please do not copy this image. Click image to share on Pinterest.

Today in my meditation I’m thinking about Full Moon and I’m writing about: Why Italy?

I have never been to Italy, but I’d love to visit one day. I have friends and family who’ve been, even my husband has been at least twice before we started dating. The main reason, however, that I write about Italy in It’s Like the Full Moon, is because of the movies that helped inspire the story. Two of the three movies that inspired the plot of It’s Like the Full Moon are connected to Italy in some capacity.

There are many places that are known for romance if you go at the right time. Paris, New York, Las Vegas, The British Isles, and more, but it seems the whole country of Italy is connected to romance. Of course, I’m exaggerating and embellishing a bit, but you get the idea. You don’t typically have to mention a specific city or town in Italy for people feel romantic at the mention of a trip there. Some places you go to for adventure, some places are for site seeing, and some places are for good food, but Italy is all that and more all wrapped up in romance…At least it is in my head.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords