31 October 2017

Top 10 Tuesday: My Favorite Spooky Books/Comics/Manga

Happy Halloween Everyone! So I definitely spooked myself out of the Halloween spirit because I decided that it would be smart to watch Annabelle Creation last night. Never again! haha I hope you guys are having a wonderful day. For Top 10 Tuesday today we are allowed a freebie topic so I decided to focus in on some of my favorite creepy books! If you have any others that you enjoy let me know in the comment box below!

Monster. This was definitely a creepy and fast paced psychological thriller. It stands as one of my favorite manga's for the year. Carrie. It's Stephen King so of course he was going to make an appearance on this list. Revival. This is definitely for people who are fans of the Walking Dead. This one does confuse me at times, but for the most part it's really good.

Locke & Key. Joe Hill is just as creepy as his father without a doubt. It. Of course Stephen King was going to make another appearance on this list. I haven't actually finished It yet, but it is AMAZING. The Diviners. If you're going to read this one make sure you get the audiobook version. I still am completely and utterly amazed at how great this series is.

 The Walking Dead. This is an amazing series. The comic book and the TV show are completely different, but both are enjoyable. The Woods. This is the creepiest comic I've read in a while and I can't wait to dive back into it. Goosebumps. I mean this was an essential part of my childhood.

Serafina and the Black Cloak. This isn't exactly scary, but it definitely has a spooky feel to it that really made me enjoy it. If you haven't gotten the chance to pick up this middle grade novel I would definitely recommend it. 

What are some of your favorite spooky books? Let me know in the comments below. Happy Halloween!! : ) 

26 October 2017

An Unexpected Afterlife by Dan Sofer

Publication: March 28, 2017 
# of Pages: 284
Source: Review copy from author *all thoughts are my own 


Moshe Karlin wakes up one morning, naked and alone, in the Mount of Olives Cemetery. According to his family and friends, he died two years ago, but Moshe is not about to accept his demise lying down.

Is his new lease on life a freak of nature or the start of the long-awaited Resurrection? Moshe doesn't really care. He vows to beat his "afterlife crisis" and win back his life-and his wife-if it is the last thing he does.

But the road ahead is full of unexpected dangers. Along the way he gains insight into life, love, and the Jewish State, as well as the suspicion that perhaps his perfect first life was not so perfect after all.

Meanwhile, other changes are afoot in the Holy Land. A reluctant prophet prepares to deliver a message of redemption-and the end of life as we know it-when a freak accident changes the course of history.

Readers who enjoy the satire and humor of Kurt Vonnegut, Carl Hiaasen, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams will enjoy this intriguing and humorous mystery in the Jewish lore and legends of the Resurrection, the World to Come, and the Messianic Era.

What an interesting take on a familiar concept! If you haven't heard of this book I definitely encourage you to check it out. It was interesting to find the main character Moshe Karlin had been dead for two years before waking up naked in the Mount Olives Cemetery. In his reawakening Moshe decides to contact Rabbi Yosef, the man who buried him, to figure out what happened. What made this concept so interesting was the fact that there was humor involved. I know that if I was to awaken after being dead for two years I would have absolutely no idea where to start especially when everything around me has changed. Like Moshe who ends up finding his wife in bed with his best friend, what could I expect to have changed? 

One of the best aspects this book was reading about modern day Israel. Being from the United States, I love when an author is able to be me insight to the culture of another nation. I don't know much about Jewish traditions when it comes to religion so this book provided me with the necessary insight to understand things such as the Judaism perspective of the resurrection of the dead. I must say that this book was well-written with an interesting plot. It makes the reader take a lot of things into consideration and build anticipation for the second book. If you're looking for a novel that provides humor, cultural insight, and a just a new perspective on life I would definitely recommend picking this book up as soon as you get the opportunity. I look forward to seeing what else comes from this author. 

25 October 2017

Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkins

Publication: October 24, 2017 
# of Pages: 256 
Source: Review copy from publisher **all thoughts are my own 

Ruby is best friends with Emma, but she and Emma's twin sister Olivia are definitely not friends. Unfortunately, Emma will be away for the summer, while Ruby and Olivia are going to be stuck at a community service day camp for troublemakers--together. 

To kick off the spirit of service, the campers are outfitted with bright pink polka-dotted t-shirts with smiley faces on the front, then tasked with cataloging the contents of an abandoned mansion. Sorting through objects in an old house sounds boring, and working with each other is that last thing the girls want to do, but the stuff is actually pretty cool. There's everything from mink stoles to golf clubs to stuffed deer heads . . . and . . . wait . . . is that stuffed deer head watching them? 

When the taps run freezing cold and doors slam inexplicably, Ruby and Olivia wonder if the other campers are having a bit of fun, or if the abandoned mansion is looking for new residents. To solve the mystery, Ruby and Olivia will have to put their grudges aside and figure out how to be a team with or without Emma.

If you're looking for a great October read look no further than this book. It's full of interesting and creepy elements that make it one of the most captivating books of the year. I've read a few things by Rachel Hawkins and she has yet to fail me with her superb writing. One of the best elements about this book was definitely the element of friendship. The two main characters Ruby and Olivia couldn't be any more different from each other, but it is their personal troubles that bring them together.

This middle grade novel has a lot to offer in terms of lessons. It not only captivates the reader through the spookiness and intrigue associated with the restoration of the house, but also in the way that it teaches the reader of friendship, kindness, and the importance of loving oneself. In addition to this, I really enjoyed reading about the dynamic between twins. I've only read one other book that deals with the relationship between twins and I didn't care for it. However, Hawkins is able to beautifully craft the relationship between Olivia and her sister Emma. People often forget that though twins share the same physical features they are individuals.

If you are looking for a beautifully and interestingly written book that is haunting, but also funny and entertaining then I would definitely recommend picking this book up. Rachel Hawkins never fails to entertain her writers and leave them with some thought provoking lessons.

19 October 2017

I Am Gandi & I Am Sacagawea by Brad Metlzer - Blog Tour

Happy Thursday Everyone! We've almost made it to the end of week. I hope everyone has had a fun, productive, and stress-free week so far. Today I'm a part of the blog tour through Penguin Young Readers showcasing two children's non-fiction books including I am Gandi and I am Sacagawea. Keep reading for more my thoughts and more information about the books.

Publication: October 3rd, 2017
# of Pages: N/A
Source: Copy from Publisher*

**All thoughts are my own and are by no means influenced by my access to a copy of this book.

As a young man in India, Gandhi saw firsthand how people were treated unfairly. Refusing to accept injustice, he came up with a brilliant way to fight back through quiet, peaceful protest. He took his methods with him from South Africa back to India, where he led a nonviolent revolution that freed his country from British rule. Through his calm, steady heroism, Gandhi changed everything for India and inspired civil rights movements all over the world, proving that the smallest of us can be the most powerful.

This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America's icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos.

This was such a powerful book. I don't even think I know where to begin so I'll discuss it in sections. 

Artwork: The artwork was beautiful and rich in color. I never really took into consideration the idea of the artist using warm colors as the backdrop of this story, but it worked so well. I even appreciated the exaggeration of Ghandi on the cover. Eliopoulos stays with the concept/idea of keeping Ghandi small as the character states that in the beginning of the book. Overall, the artwork was amazing and definitely added to the overall feel of the story. 

Plot: This is a book that can be read by people of all ages. At first, I had an expectation that it would simply be fitting for a younger audience; however, as a young woman in her late 20's I found that I learned just as much as any young reader. Meltzer gives explicit details and information affiliated with Ghandi. I knew that Ghandi was the original creator of the concept of non-violence; however, I don't believe I realized to what extent he created the entire concept of non-violence and living a life that was based in simplicity. Even learning about the Salt Walk was new to me. It amazed me that something so small as a community of members walking to grab hand fulls of salt in protest of buying British salt could have such an amazing effect. I think that this is a book for all ages. If you've never experienced this book or haven't had the opportunity to pick it up I would definitely recommend it. Expect to learn a host of things related to Gandhi. 

Publication: October 3rd, 2017 
# of Pages: 40
Source: Copy from Publisher*

**All thoughts are my own and are by no means influenced by my access to a copy of this book. 

Sacagawea, the only Native American included in Lewis and Clark's historic expedition, joins the inspiring list of heroes whose stories are told in this New York Times Bestselling biography series.
Sacagawea was the only girl, and the only Native American, to join Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery, which explored the United States from the Mississippi River all the way to the Pacific Ocean in the early 1800s. As a translator, she helped the team communicate with members of the Shoshone tribe across the continent, carrying her child on her back the whole way. By the time the expedition arrived at the west coast, Sacagawea had proved that she truly was a trailblazer.

This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America's icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos.

Another great edition to the Ordinary People Change the World series, I am Sacagawea gives great insight and details to the life of this young woman. What is most important about this book is its message. Young girls of all ages can be inspired by this book when they understand that a teenager who once was overlooked became one of the most well-known names in American history. She was courageous, fierce, kind, intelligent, and so much more. Even as an adult woman, it was great to read a story about another woman who brought about so much change when the world usually doubted her ability to accomplish anything outside of stereotypical duties. There is much to learn from this book in a historical and social sense. There were various aspects of the life of Sacagawea that I wasn't familiar with including the fact that she had a child so young and then had to take that child with her on the journey. I wasn't aware of the fact that she originally served as a translator and also a navigator. I also wasn't aware of the fact that she was able to reunite with her brother who became chief of their tribe. In addition to an excellent story, I found the artwork to be superb. It was nicely illustrated and it included enough text that it wasn't completely overwhelming. If you haven't checked out this book or any of the books in the series I would recommend getting them! They are AMAZING.  

Brad Meltzer is the New York Times bestselling author of Heroes for My SonHeroes for My Daughter, and a number of suspense novels like The House of Secrets. He is also the host of the History Channel television shows Brad Meltzer's Decoded and Brad Meltzer's Lost History. He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children.
Christopher Eliopoulos began his illustration career at Marvel Comics, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Franklin Richards: Son of a GeniusPet AvengersCow Boy, and Cosmic Commandos, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and their identical twin sons.

11 October 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #17, Stell Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez

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.

Expected Publication: January 16, 2018 

I'm really focused on reading nothing but diverse books in 2018 and this is one that I found. Like most of the books I have listed on my 2018 must reads list on Goodreads I have no idea where I found this book; however, I'm really excited to read it. The cover is simply gorgeous. I wish I could tell you guys more about the book; however, there isn't a summary listed on Goodreads just yet so I'll be happy to update this post whenever there is one posted. Until then just enjoy the cover! : ) 

10 October 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Books (My Favs...)

Happy Tuesday Everyone! That means that it is time for another Top 10 Tuesday! This week's theme is built around the concept of fall. Everyone is asked to come up with 10 books that have fall cover's or themes.These books don't necessarily take place during the fall; however, their covers definitely scream fall. : )

 I Am The Messenger. This was definitely a great book. I listened to it on audiobook and absolutely fell in love with the concept. I know a lot of people have read The Book Thief; however, this one is definitely great. Dorothy Must Die Stories. If you're a fan of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige then I would recommend checking out this compilation of novellas. The Battle of the Labyrinth. I mean it's Percy Jackson. There is no way that I could make this list without including at least one of the books.

More Happy Than Not. Adam Silvera's debut novel is fantastic. If you haven't read anything by him I would recommend starting here. Dragonfly In Amber. If you want to start this series just make sure you have some time to invest and devout to it. American Born Chinese. My library is currently deciding on whether to make this part of our adult book club series and I must say I'm really excited. It's been a while since I've read it, but just know that I've loved every single aspect of it.

Alex + Ada. This is a great comic book series if you're a fan of science fiction and futuristic tales. The Darkest Magic. Three words-just read it. Firefight. I think I pretty much fell in love with Brandon Sanderson because of this series. It's such a twisted view on superheroes and their role in society that you can't help but to enjoy it. I still haven't read the final book in the series, but that's because I don't want the series to end.

Stepping to A New Day. Okay, so I just want you guys to know that this is the 7th book in the series; however, it was completely and totally amazing. I loved it and I instantly asked my library to buy the first three books in the series. If you haven't read it definitely check out the first book.

What books do you guys like with fall colors or fall themes?

09 October 2017

A Second Look At Th1rt33n Reasons Why (Video Review)

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of the week. I've already run into some complications and it's not even that far into the week. Alas, it is the way the cookie crumbles. So today I wanted to look back and reanalyze my thoughts about Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I believe in my initial rating I gave the book about 3 or 3.5 stars. This time I gave it in between 4 and 4.5 stars. Below you'll find a video review that I did on my YouTube channel that focuses on a review of not only the book, but also the TV show. Enjoy !

Publication: October 18, 2017 
# of Pages: 288 
Source: Purchased Copy 

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. 

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.