23 March 2017

Beauty & The Beast Tag

So I'm so excited about this tag for the simple fact that the movie has finally come out and I plan on seeing it this weekend. This tag originated on the blog Du Livre! Definitely go check it out. I wasn't tagged by anyone, but I thought that this would be a fun tag to do.

A Villain You Can't Help But Love
Draco Malfoy is a complete brat, but for some reason  I still completely love him as a character in this book. He goes through so much and ends up making a complete 180.

Your OTP 
Nana K and Nobu are like my dream couple from this manga, but I just have this sick little feeling that it's not going to work out :( 

A Character That's Destined for Bigger Things
August is an amazing character and I truly believe that he will have a lot more going for him past his success at his 5th grade graduation.

A Book That Makes You Hungry 
I don't know anybody who doesn't think that this manga makes them hungry.

Opposites Attract 
Okay, Evie and Sam are complete opposites, but in this book they are DEFINITELY attracted to each other haha.

I don't have anyone in particular to tag so just go ahead and have at it! haha It's a great tag! Especially if you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast. 

22 March 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #3, The Woods Vol. 6

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa over at WishfulEndings. She has taken on a similar meme to Jills Waiting on Wednesday over at Breaking the Spine. Since Jill hasn't posted in a while I'm going to join in on this meme. To participate all you have to do is spotlight upcoming publications you're eagerly anticipating. Keep reading to see what I have chosen for this week.

Expected Publication: March 23, 2017 

I fell in love with this comic book last year and just binged volumes #1-4. I decided to wait to read volume #5 until the closer release date to the 6th volume and it's finally here. Haha it actually comes out tomorrow so you know I'm really excited to read it. The artwork is different and it definitely can be classified in the genre of science fiction. If you haven't checked it out I would definitely recommend getting it as soon as possible. 

A Midwestern high school is transported into the middle of an Alien forest. This is the story of what happens next.

Having been stranded in an alien wilderness for well over a year, the former students of Bay Point Preparatory High School have had to grow up fast – first simply to survive, and later to build some kind of life on this foreign moon. But conflict rears its ugly head again as The Horde begins conscripting athletes to raise an army, separating and scattering the other survivors throughout New London. And as the growing threat of an upcoming massacre approaches, time is quickly running out to salvage the society Bay Point has become . . .

Written by James Tynion IV (Detective Comics, Memetic), and illustrated by Michael Dialynas (Gotham Academy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), The Lost collects the critically acclaimed sixth arc of this bestselling series.

21 March 2017

Top 10 Tuesday: Books To Read When You're Short on Time

Happy Tuesday everyone! It's Tuesday so that means another Top 10 Tuesday hosted by the ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish. This weeks theme focused on books that either are really short, books that we've read in one sitting, books that have kept us reading all day, or as in my case books to read when you're short on time. A lot of books on my list are either comics or manga! I hope this gives you some new stuff to try out! : )

Persepolis. This is a great graphic memoir that illustrates Iran in the late 1970s during the Iranian Revolution. I had to read this my freshman year of college and I've read it twice since then. It is an unforgettable book that takes no time to read. Percy Jackson & The Olympians. I used the cover for the Battle of the Labyrinth; however, this entire series is great to read when you're short on time. I know this because I binged the entire series in about a week. : ) Fables. This list wouldn't be complete without including fables. Like all comics, this series is really great to read when you are looking for a quick read and some fairy-tale retellings.

Food Wars. Once again I used volume 3 for the artwork, but this entire series is great for anyone who is interested in reading a great manga when they are short on time. It has dynamic characters and an amazing and interesting plot line. Alex + Ada. This series is short and contains a great plot for those who are interested in science fiction. Lying Out Loud. I know that this is a quick read because I read it in one sitting. In fact, if you ever need a book to read in a short period of time I would definitely recommend anything by Kody Keplinger.

Nana. This is another great manga series to check out if you are looking for great characters and storyline even if you don't have enough time. Zodiac Starforce. Kick-ass females is all I need to say here. Impulse. If you ever don't have enough time to read, any works by Ellen Hopkins are great.

Between the World & Me. This is such a powerful book and to be so short you'll be amazed that this book leaves you with such a powerful impression. I absolutely loved it when I read it.

If you're interested in learning more about some of these books or books by the same authors check out my reviews below:

Nana Vol. 1 & 2 
Food Wars Vol. 1, 2, 3, & 4
Alex + Ada 
Jack of Fables Vol. 1 & 2 (same author as Fables series)
Embroideries (same author as Persepolis)
Between The World & Me 

20 March 2017

Thrive by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Publication: July 18, 2014
# of Pages: 425
Source: E-book 

When rumors spread like wildfire—like having three-ways with her boyfriend’s rock climbing brother—Lily Calloway spirals into a dark place. Her bedroom. Loren Hale is more confident and determined to keep their sex life private, even from their friends, and he helps Lily in the only way he knows how. But how much love is too much? 

Their lives are filmed, watched, and criticized. And through it all, Lily and Loren have to face enemies they never thought they’d see, demons they don’t know if they should bury, and setbacks they didn’t think they’d meet. Not this soon. 

And one rumor could be too much for them to handle. It will test their greatest limitations, and if they don’t hold onto each other, someone is going to drown. 

I am such a huge fan of this series. The writing style and the characters are phenomenal and I'm so happy that I was recommended this series last year. If you haven't read any of these books I would definitely be cautious reading this review as it may contain spoilers for earlier books. Keep in mind that this series must be read in a particular order to get the full picture that the authors intended for the readers. 

Thrive is what can almost be considered a flash back to the things that took place during the first two Calloway sisters books. While I found those two novels spectacular, I honestly didn't find that much interest in this installment. Here's the thing, a lot of the information that was found in this novel was information that we already knew from the other novels. The reader just got the opportunity to see everything from the perspective of Lily and Lo. While I love these two characters, they aren't my favorite couple. Regardless of the fact that I felt as though the information in the book was quite repetitive, there were some things that I did enjoy. 

I loved being inside the heads of Lily and Lo again. The series began with their struggles as a sex addict and alcoholic. It was particularly interesting to see how Lily and Lo were affected by the hardships of their fellow housemates and also with the introduction of all six characters being placed on a reality show. It is heartwarming to see how much they have grown as a couple and how much they have grown individually. It isn't a perfect love story and each character still struggles with their internal demons. Lily still has trouble controlling her impulses for sex, not with other men but simply controlling the amount of times she has sex with Lo. And Lo still struggles with the concept of not reaching for a drink every time he struggles with life, the media, and his relationship with his father. 

As with all of the other novels, I love the fact that although these books contain explicit content they have an amazing and thorough plot. The description may throw some individuals off; however, it definitely is a great series that everyone should give a try at some point especially if you're interested in checking out more new adult. The writing and the characters of this series continue to amaze me. I just wanted a little bit more from this novel. I definitely will be continuing and hopefully finishing the series this year. 

14 March 2017

TLC Book Tours: All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I'm working with TLC Book Tours to showcase Dorothea Benton Franks's novel All Summer Long. Below you'll find the schedule for others that have also read and reviewed this book as a part of the tour. 

# of Pages: 
Source: Review Copy 

Filled with her trademark wit, poignant themes, and rich characters, the perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with a sensational novel that follows the travels of one couple though a tumultuous summer.

Dorothea Benton Frank’s magical stories take us deep into the heart of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry. In her novels, this lush landscape comes alive in all its vibrancy and color. She ignites all of our senses with her vivid descriptions of landscape and atmosphere. In her novels you hear the ocean washing the shore on different islands so profoundly that you can nearly hear the sea gulls squawking, too.

This is a story of people whose lives are changing—a southern gentleman returning home to lead a more peaceful life and his talented New York wife who is not quite sure she is ready to make the transition. They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace, downsizing. And while they are doing this, they are getting glimpses into other people’s lives over the course of a summer, holidays that will amuse, shock and transform them.

This irresistible story is home to captivating characters as funny, complicated, and real as our best friends—husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, friends and family who wrestle with the complexities, pain, and joys familiar to us all.

Finally, we’ll come to recognize the face of love, the kind that deepens and endures but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. That leap changes them all.

For the first time in a very long time I don't really have much thoughts or words to say about a book which makes writing this review extremely difficult. I wasn't able to finish this book. I tried and tried and tried; however, I couldn't for the life of me relate to the characters. I found them to be shallow and at some times condescending. At first I thought I was going to be able to relate to the fact that Olivia was genuinely struggling with funds and finances as an interior designer; however, it didn't make it any more entertaining and Olivia was still surrounded by money and luxury. 

In terms of location, I loved that the book took place in the low country considering that's where I'm from, but I just feel like it was painted as a place of money and glamour and it definitely isn't that way, at least not everywhere. The drama between the women was unnecessary and to some degree took away from aspects of the novel that could have actually been enjoyable. The plot moved fast enough, but I really do feel as though the characters lacked the depth and sincerity that I was looking for. 

The one thing that I did like about this book is the fact that for the parts I did get through the writing was smooth and easy almost lyrical . It's clear to see that this authors books aren't difficult reads and are definitely great for spring or summer time reads. I can't genuinely recommend this book because I didn't enjoy it, nor did I finish it. If the summary sounds like something you might enjoy then go for it, but otherwise I don't think I'll be reading anymore of her books. 

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.
Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, or like her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

12 March 2017

Author Interview: Treasures of the Forgotten City by Danny McAleese & David Kristoph

Hey everybody! I'm back with another virtual book tour! This week I've been given the pleasure of interviewing the authors of a brand new "choose your own adventure" series! Please keep reading to know more about books and the amazing authors behind it's creation.

1. I used to love books that focused on the readers choosing their own adventures! What made you all decide to write a book like that? 

David: Like you, we loved those books too! Danny approached me with the idea for the series, and he wrote out a quick proof-of-concept idea for me to get a feel for what he was envisioning. Instantly, a wave of nostalgia came over me while I read through this concept. Ideas began forming and I was immediately hooked.

Danny: As a kid, I couldn't get enough of these books!  I'd hit the library several times a week, waiting for people to return the ones I'd missed.  Being a computer geek, I also tried "writing" my own CYOA books by programming them in a very similar fashion as the computer game ZORK.  I wanted to tell my own stories, give readers my own choices.  Most of all, I wanted each story to have a single GREAT ending.  That's something I felt like the original Choose Your Own Adventure books always missed: even if you went back and read every single storyline, you never really knew when you'd gotten to the "best" ending.

2. What kind of research did you for this book? How long did you spend researching before beginning this book?

David:  Choose Your Adventure books are awfully complicated, so we always map out a flowchart of the story beforehand to help keep everything straight in our head. The flowcharts can get pretty crazy--some of them look like those conspiracy theory bulletin boards you see in movies, with string connecting parts all over the place! Honestly, I typically spend just as much time plotting out the story as I do actually writing it. The writing comes easy once it's all plotted out.

Danny: The story has lived in my head for a while, but the hard part was learning the process of writing in a CYOA format.  It's a lot more than just writing a story: you have to sit down and graph out all the possible story arcs.  Each time the reader makes a choice, that choice becomes a branch from the central story "tree".  David and I talked at length about how to do this.  We ended up using flowcharts consisting of "encounter" boxes that interconnect with each other in different ways.  Laying out the story beforehand, as a top-down story tree, is probably THE most important aspect of writing a CYOA book.  Once you have all that, sitting down as an author to actually tell the story becomes a whole lot easier.

3. How did you select the names of the characters?

David: Names are pretty random for me. Sometimes I'll grab a book of baby names and look for something unique, and other times I've got some names already picked out. For example, in Ultimate Ending #8, the two main characters are twins named Beckett and Bastion, which I named after the children of a close friend of mine. 

Danny: Honestly?  I google "Cool names" and "Cool last names" and things like that.  But very often I'll pick the first names of people who remind me of someone, too.  In book seven, the Tower of Never There, the character's first name has a very significant meaning (that I can't go into without spoiling things!)  And in this book, Waif's nickname has a more straightforward meaning too: physically he's very thin and waifish, something that becomes important later on within the scope of the story.

4. Were you inspired by any other "choose your own adventure books?" 

David:  I read some of the original Choose Your Own Adventure series, but what really captured my interest as a kid was the Give Yourself Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. I was already a big fan of the Goosebumps series, so his interactive fiction series grabbed my attention immediately.

Danny: Yes, there was a series of Endless Quest books that came out right after the Choose Your Own Adventure books started.  These were fantasy based books by TSR, the creators of Dungeons & Dragons.  Since I played AD&D, I absolutely LOVED these books!  But unfortunately there were only a few of them.  The Pillars of Pentegarn was my favorite.

5. What is your favorite childhood book? 

David: I read Jurassic Park when I was maybe 10 years old. It was my first exposure to adult literature; I was already an avid reader, but that book catapulted me into a new thirst for reading that has molded the writer I am today. I still go back and re-read it every few years! 

Danny: Had to be one of the Hardy Boys books.  That was the series that really triggered reading for me.  Up until then I'd be glued to the TV for Scooby Doo and Saturday Morning Cartoons.  But once I realized I could read mystery stories and they were ten times more detailed and exciting than just watching a cartoon?  I was totally hooked.  Luckily my parents were so thrilled I was interested in reading they went out and bought me the entire Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series.

6. I saw that this book is a part of a series! Does each volume stand on it's own or are they interconnected? 

David: Each book completely stands on its own! We occasionally re-use characters (for example, the same characters from Treasures of the Forgotten City are featured in Rescue From the Valley of Chaos) but you can grab any book in the series and jump right in without needing to read the prior ones.

Danny: Yes!  Each book is a stand-alone adventure, just like the CYOA books of old.  So far we've written a dozen of them, and only one recycles characters from a previous book (this first one, actually) to take them out for another spin.  But they can all be read individually, and in any order.

7. What book has most influenced your life?

David:  I think I was the only kid in my AP English class who actually enjoyed Lord of the Flies. The way that book illustrates the descent of humanity into a more animal state when basic needs are removed affected me in a way I really didn't expect. 

Danny: I'd have to say IT, by Stephen King.  It seems to be my standard answer, probably because it was the first time I was truly captivated by a story.  Stephen King not only writes characters everyone can relate to, but he has a knack for putting them in situations that seem plausible no matter how supernatural or fantastic.  He connects with you first before scaring the crap out of you, which of course makes your fear all the more real.

8. Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer or is writing your sole job/career for the moment? 

David: By day I'm a Systems Administrator (IT guy). Honestly, it makes writing more enjoyable: there's no pressure to publish often/quickly enough to support myself, so I can write at my leisure. That said, I do treat writing like a second job: since 2014 I've committed to writing at least one hour every day. 

Danny: I own a few retail websites, and have a giant warehouse full of wall decals and kids' decor that my wife and I sell online.  I also run a bunch of marketing-centric sites that bring in money.  Before all that, I was a computer programmer.

9. What is your favorite part of these books? (Spoiler free if you can haha)

David: The Ultimate Ending, of course! The problem with the older CYOA books is that you never really knew when to stop reading. You never knew when you were doneso by the end you're just sort of randomly flipping through the book to see what you missed. With our series there are lots of secondary endings, but there's only one Ultimate Ending, and it's going to take several read-throughs to reach it. That both gives the reader a definitive conclusion, and a satisfying feeling for finally getting there.

Danny: The best part of any Ultimate Ending book is... well...  the ending.  It's where you have that "a ha!" moment, and the answer smacks you in the face!  Once you make that final push, figure out that one last piece of the puzzle, you're thrust into the best of all possible endings.  And believe, our endings are Ultimate!

Three priceless star jewels. A century-old, cryptic journal. Using only the resources left by your grand-uncle, it's up to you to find Atraharsis — the legendary lost city beneath the sands.

But the way won't be easy. Raging sandstorms, sinister traps, and a whole host of mysteries stand between you and your Ultimate goal.

Can you solve the riddles, and recover the fabled star gems in time?

Or will you — like so many who've gone before — become the next permanent resident of the forgotten city?

YOU choose your own path in this treasure-hunting adventure! Ultimate Ending lets YOU pick the story. YOU make the decisions, solve the riddles, avoid the traps and gather the clues. It's a mystery and adventure book that YOU control!

Danny McAleese started writing fantasy fiction during the golden age of Dungeons & Dragons, way back in the heady, adventure-filled days of the 1980's. His short stories, The Exit, and Momentum, made him the Grand Prize winner of Blizzard Entertainment's 2011 Global Fiction Writing contest.

He currently lives in NY, along with his wife, four children, three dogs, and a whole lot of chaos.

David Kristoph lives in Ft Worth, Texas with his wonderful wife and two not-quite German Shepherds. He's a fantastic reader, great videogamer, good chess player, average cyclist, and mediocre runner. 

He's also a member of the Planetary Society, a patron of StarTalk Radio, an amateur astronomer and general space enthusiast. He writes mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy.

10 March 2017

Friday #56, #27 March Book #3 by John Lewis

The Friday #56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's VoiceJoin in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
  • Find any sentence (or a few, don't spoil it) 

**Be sure to post the links to your Friday #56 below!

Happy Reading!

So lately I've been in a massive reading slump and the only thing I've been able to read is comic and manga so today I wanted to do a spotlight on the graphic novel I've been reading for a while. It's March Book #3 by John Lewis. It's an autobiographical look at his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. It's extremely detailed and I can't believe how much I've actually learned from reading each one of these books. They take time and patience and sometimes it's difficult to keep up with the names, but overall it's definitely a great series. If you haven't read it yet I would definitely give it a try. 

Since I don't specifically have a quote to include for page 56 I thought I would just include a few pictures. Like I stated before, this is definitely a powerful series so if you haven't read it yet I would definitely recommend checking it out. 

Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy.
Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.