15 August 2018

Waiting on Wednesday, #45 The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings 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.

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 336
Publication: October 30th, 2018
Goodreads 
When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn't the hard part--they've only been dating for five months, and he can't even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans... At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik's rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He's even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik's social media blows up--in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can't be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes...

This is a book I'm definitely look forward to simply because of the fact that it is by Jasmine Guillory. I've heard amazing things about her book The Wedding Date which I plan to read this weekend. I think I burned myself out on fantasy and sci-fi books so I've been reading a lot of mystery and romance. If you've read her book please let me know what you thought in the comments section below. What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

10 August 2018

Friday #56, #51 The Secret of the Old Clock


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!!


Series: Nancy Drew, #1
# of Pages: 180
Publication: 1930
Genre: Mystery
Source: Library Copy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

A special treat for Nancy Drew fans, and any reader who's new to the series! We're releasing a stunning new edition of an old favorite: The Secret of the Old Clock, the first book in the incredibly popular, long-running series. It's the same exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for more than 80 years—Nancy Drew has to help Mr. Crowly's friends find his missing will, before the evil Topham family steals his full inheritance. Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won't want to miss!


I'm currently reading this not only because I've desperately been in the mood for good mystery books, but also because I'm trying to refresh myself on some of my favorite childhood books and write reviews for them on this blog. I used to love the Nancy Drew series growing up so I'm definitely invested in re-reading as many of them as I can.

"At the Drew home that evening there were mixed emotions on everyone's part. Hannah Gruen had taken a great fancy to the Hoover sisters and the news of Allison's talent had thrilled her, as well as the girls. Conversation at supper was gay and animated. Nancy and Mrs. Gruen drove the sisters to their farm and on parting Nancy again promised to do all she could to help find a will from which the girls might possibly benefit." 
What are you reading this Friday/Weekend? 

09 August 2018

Paper Girls Vol.1 by Brian K. Vaughan

Series: Paper Girls (Vol. 1)
# of Pages: 144
Publication: April 5th, 2016
Source: Library E-Book
Genre: Science-Fiction
Goodreads | Amazon 

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.








If you can’t already tell (which you probably can’t unless you follow me on Goodreads) I am a huge fan of Brian K Vaughn. I’ve read a few of his series including Y: The Last Man, Saga, and the Runaways. This is a new one that I wanted to try out and I’m so happy I did. This first volume of this series has adventure, action, and mystery. While I did get a little confused, I know that this first volume was mainly designed to build the world and the plot.

If you haven’t heard of Paper Girls it’s centered around four 12 year old girls in the 80s (this was already the perfect comic for me because I’m literally obsessed with the 80s) who share the same paper route. Early in the morning they begin to encounter some really strange things, things that they cannot explain. I won’t lie and say this is initial plot isn’t quite confusing because it is. It includes some elements of time travel that make it hard to figure out what and who everyone really is. However, what I loved about this first volume was the opportunity that the reader has to get to know the personalities of the four main characters. They are very much alike but different at the same time. I loved that while reading the comic, the reader has the opportunity to get to know each and every one of the main characters which is extremely important in this series.

The only criticism that I have for this series is that
the plot is rather confusing. It contains elements found in science fiction writing and because it is in graphic form it takes a while for the plot to completely unfold and make sense. Even by the end of the graphic novel, the reader is still left with so many questions that are answered in subsequent volumes. Nevertheless, I did want to point out that anyone who reads this comic should have patience with the writing and the plot. Brian K. Vaughn has a gift for world and plot building and you have to continue to read his series in order to get a good understanding of the direction he’s leading his characters in.

Overall, this is such a fascinating series. As I’m writing this review, I’ve already read the second volume and I’m absolutely loving this series. If you enjoy Brian K. Vaughn as a comic book writer then I would definitely recommend checking this one out. I believe that this is the third or fourth series of his that I have started and plan to follow and finish.


08 August 2018

Waiting on Wednesday, #44 Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren



Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings 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.

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 320
Publication: September 4th, 2018
Goodreads

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun. Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

So, technically I haven't read any of Christina Lauren's books; however, they sound amazing. I currently have two of them checked out as audiobooks from the library and I'm really looking forward to reading them. If you've read any of her books please let me know in the comments below. I've heard some really good things and I really anticipate reading a lot of her works.

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

26 July 2018

Ice Cream Man Vol. 1 by W. Maxwell Prince

Series: Ice Cream Man (Vol. 1)
# of Pages: 144
Publication: June 26th, 2018
Source: Library E-Book
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Goodreads | Amazon 

Chocolate, vanilla, existential horror, addiction, musical fantasy...there’s a flavor for everyone’s misery. ICE CREAM MAN is a genre-defying comic book series, featuring disparate “one-shot” tales of sorrow, wonder, and redemption. Each installment features its own cast of strange characters, dealing with their own special sundae of suffering. And on the periphery of all of them, like the twinkly music of his colorful truck, is the Ice Cream Man—a weaver of stories, a purveyor of sweet treats. Friend. Foe. God. Demon. The man who with a snap of his fingers—lickety split!—can change the course of your life forever.


I was so happy when I was able find a copy of the first volume of this comic through my library’s subscription of Hoopla. I saw the cover and synopsis when I was scrolling through the newly released comics and graphic novels on Goodreads. Ice Cream Man is a twisted and rather disturbing take of the man that is supposed to provide the community with sweet treats. Instead this version of the ice cream man preys on the insecurities of humans and uses it to kill and I assume claim their souls. While it was confusing at first, I think I got the gist of the story.

The plot is divided into 4 separate stories of characters who have lost ambition, drive, or have been manipulated in some form or fashion. Through the ice cream mans manipulation they either kill other people or kill themselves. I won’t go into much detail because of spoilers but the moral issues laid out within each issue is pretty interesting. I found the plot hard to follow at some points because I wasn’t sure how the ice cream man played a part, but when I kept reading I think I began to understand how he turns the life of people up side down by preying on their insecurities whether it’s loss of fame and fortune, drug addiction, abandonment, etc. he’s always there to make the matters worse and force people to make decisions that they are ultimately incapable of making due to serious self esteem issues.

The artwork was intriguing. I wish I could describe how the faces are drawn but I can’t so I’ll just have to include some pictures. For the most part it’s simplistic but ultimately captures the dread and fear of all the people who encounter the ice cream man. I also love that bright colors were used to illustrate the scenes involving the ice cream man. It illustrated a unique connection to the wide colors and variety of ice cream that an ice cream man can serve. It was twisted to be honest but I’m pretty sure that’s the point of the entire comic.



    While I wanted to give the comic five stars, I felt as though parts of it were too disjointed and presented some issues in reference to my understanding the text in its entirety; however, I did enjoy it and I’m looking forward to see what the next volume has to offer. 



    25 July 2018

    Can't Wait Wednesday, #33 What If It's Us by Beck Albertalli & Adam Silvera


    Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings 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.

    Series: N/A
    # of Pages: 448
    Publication: October 19th, 2018
    Goodreads
    Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them? Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited. But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play? But what if it is?

    This book is the author partnership that I've been waiting for. I enjoy both Adam and Becky and I'm so happy that they actually worked together to write a book. It sounds so cute and adorable and I'm sure that the book is going to be brilliant. I also heard that there are Easter eggs in the book for their past books so I'm excited to pick up on that.

    What are you looking forward to this Wednesday?

    23 July 2018

    Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

    Series: Harry Potter, #4
    # of Pages: 734
    Publication: September 28th, 2002
    Source: Library E-Audiobook
    Genre: Fantasy
    Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

    Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.



    I never would imagine the day in which I would actually sit down and write a review for a Harry Potter. They’ve always naturally been five star reads for me but I’ve never taken into consideration the specific factors and aspects of the stories that make them so good. For me, The Goblet of Fire is probably one of my favorite books in the series. This is one of the most pivotal books in which Harry leaves behind the minor altercations with half-dead versions of Voldemort and actually had to deal with the realization that Voldemort has successfully obtained a body and is ready to continue to wage his war against the wizarding world. I’m going to divide this review into several different sections including world-building, plot, characters, and my personal feelings about re-reading this book in audio format.

    World Building

    I believe that this installment is probably one of my favorites in the entire series because of the fact that the world building is so extensive. The reader gets the opportunity to spend a great deal of time outside the confines of Hogwarts and inside the general aspects of the wizarding world. It’s in this book that we are introduced to the Quidditch World Cup which has so many various components and new things to learn about the sport. I really think that the movie missed out on being able to shoot the Quidditch World Cup in its entirety. There are scenes that introduced new magical creatures such as veela, and even major characters such as Winky and Ludo Bagman. I think it was also amazing that in this book Rowling introduces us to the idea that there are people who are witches and wizards from all of the world. At the Quidditch World Cup, Harry Potter describes his experience in seeing witches and wizards from different countries and schools including witches from a school in Salem (this made me squeal the very first time I read the book). Then there is the introduction to other schools through the Tri-Wizard tournament. Those students are from Beaubaxtons and Durmstrang. It still blows my mind that all of these schools exist but because of magical spells other witches and wizards can’t determine their exact locations. By including all of these elements, Rowling effectively expands what we would have considered as boundaries in this world.

    Plot

    The plot for this book is super intense. When I say intense I mean insanely intense. This is the point in which the books become longer and more complex. The Goblet of Fire checks in at over 700 pages itself. The most rewarding aspects of the plot of this book are definitely found in understanding the connection between Harry and Voldemort. Having read the books multiple times, I noticed that this is the book where that connection sets the scene for what must happen in the final book and the explanation as to why Harry and Voldemort can see into each other’s thoughts and dreams. Knowing how the series ends and being able to make that connection is crazy and fun at the same time. Another interesting aspect of the plot of this book is the discussion of how magical creatures and wizards and witches are treated in terms of their social standing. We see the Weasley’s get looked down upon because of the lack money that they have and we also begin to see how severely magical creatures are neglected and treated inappropriately by their human counterparts. This is especially apparent with Winky the house elf who becomes the catalyst for the issues that occur later in the book. Hermione also begins her campaign to assist in making witches and wizards understand the importance of forming bonds with magical creatures. This will play a huge role in the seventh and final book. Of course the most pivotal moments are through Harry’s entry into the Triwizard Tournament, the tournaments challenges themselves, and the rise of Lord Voldemort.

    If I was forced to rank the tournament challenges into least favorite to most favorite I would say that it would be the maze, the interactions with dragons, and then the underwater challenge. If you’ve based your memory of the tournaments off the movie, take some time and realize that the tournaments actually have a lot more complexity to them. They just were not able to capture every single detail on film. With the introduction to the tournament, I found that I, as a reader, was exposed to more complicated spells and aspects of the world. Prior to this book, I don’t think we realize or have the opportunity to realize how complicated magic can be. What I liked most about the tournaments is that they humanize Harry. Yes, we all know that he’s this fascinating and amazing character that defeats Voldemort when it’s all said and done; however, watching him struggle and realize that he’s truly not old enough to be in the tournament really does bring the hero complex down several notches. I think sometimes in reading these books we forget that Harry is just a teenager at this point, a mere 14. The tasks that are presented before him challenge him way beyond what should be expected for his age group.

    The last area of the plot that changes the entire dynamic of the entire series is the rise of Voldemort. I always tell individuals that Voldemort’s resurrection isn’t just a minor thing that happens at the end of the book. It sets the series on a different course. The books become much darker and more complex. With the death of Cedric Diggory we begin to become exposed to a death in every single following book. This book is the shifter, the point at which everything changes. It’s no surprise that Rowling would use this book as such a strong catalyst considering it is the middle book of the entire series.

    Characters

    I think I could write for days about the complexity of the characters and character relationships in this book. There are so many people who play major roles in this book, many who go missing in the film adaptation (this includes a prolonged presence of Sirius, Winky, a prolonged presence of Crouch, and Ludo Bagman). I’ll start with the relationships between Harry, Ron, and Hermione. While the three were just friends in the past three books we see that dynamic change between Rom and Hermione. They begin to become jealous of each other and who they’ve decided to date. This is particularly evident in Ron distaste in Hermione’s dating Victor Krum. Ron and Harry also run into some issues as the reader is exposed to finding out and understanding what it’s really like to be Harry Potter’s best friend. It feels like living in a shadow which is extremely unfortunate. I also believe that this is where we see Harry, Ron, and Hermione go through character growth. They are maturing and having to go through the stages of figuring out who they want to be.

    Overall Thought/Audiobook

    I’m currently listening to all the Harry Potter books and it’s been a great experience. I think that Jim Dale has the most brilliant voice for all the characters and really brings the world alive. It’s such a different journey than reading the physical books. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check them out then definitely do that. As I have stated before, this is my favorite book in the series and I think that it holds such an importance place in the overall grand scheme of things. I’ll definitely have to go back and do a full review of the first three books in the series.