27 June 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday, #30 Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

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: Willa, #1
# of Pages: 384
Publication: July 10th, 2018 
Willa, a young nightspirit of the Great Smoky Mountains, is her clan's best thief. She creeps into the homes of day-folk in the cover of darkness and takes what they won't miss. It's dangerous work — the day-folk kill whatever they do not understand. But when Willa's curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in a day-folk man's home, everything she thought she knew about her people — and their greatest enemy — is forever changed.

I've read one other novel by Robert Beatty and I thought that it was amazing! It was Serafina and the Black Cloak. It had such a Gothic feel to it and I really enjoyed it. This one sounds like it will be another atmospheric book and I'm super excited to read it. I think that it will be middle grade and I'm always looking for a new middle grade book to add to my TBR!

25 June 2018

Mini Comic Book Review - Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn

Happy Monday Everyone!! I haven't done a mini comic review in a long time so I thought I would highlight a comic that I currently have re-read. Let me know in the comments below if you would like to see more of these!

Series: Saga, Vol. 1
# of Pages: 160
Publication: October 23rd, 2012
Source: Library Copy
Genre: Science Fiction
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults

Saga is one of the most popular comic book series published by Image Comics. With Brian K. Vaughn writing and Fiona Staples illustrating, the series was bound to be a success and it definitely has done well with the series being almost 9 volumes into publication. In this re-read of the comic, I looked for several different components that makes this complex, unique, and entertaining. The first component that stood out to me was definitely the artwork. Fiona Staples has a way of capturing the characters and the world that you find yourself immersed within every frame of the story. I have no idea where she gets the ideas for these characters, but I do know that she is completely brilliant and her characters and world drawings really bring the story together. The second component that stood out to me was the storyling/plot development. I would have never thought in a million years that I would enjoy a story that parallels some aspects of Romeo and Juliet, but with setting that is based in science-fiction. The reader is instantly engaged by the birth of a child between these two main characters who are clearly not supposed to be together. The willingness of the characters to go against the guidelines and regulations set forth by the galaxy makes their story even more thrilling. In addition to the main characters, readers are also introduced to a series of side characters that are just as interesting and engaging. From a ghost who becomes the baby's babysitter to trackers/assassins to a half-man/half-computer robot that is determined to find the two main characters so he can start a family of his own, these side characters had interesting and compelling stories that brilliantly entwined themselves into the main characters storyline. While most of the plot is centered on the two main characters, Marco and Alana, attempting to shelter the daughter from pretty much everyone in the galaxy, readers do get a glimpse into a complex world with complex characters. If you haven't read this comic I will warn you and let you know that it ends on a hell of a cliff hanger so I would recommend having the second volume near to read immediately after the first volume. This is a fantastic comic and well deserving of all of it's hype, praises, and accolades. I highly recommend it. 

18 June 2018

The One by Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection, #3
# of Pages: 323
Publication: May 6th, 2014
Source: Library Audiobook
Genre: Dystopian/Fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 
The time has come for one winner to be crowned. When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

*Please keep in mind that this is the third book of the series so there may be some spoilers.

This was an interesting conclusion to the series. I really enjoyed some aspects of it; however, I think that some aspects of it were rushed. For instance, there were some scenes that felt rather unnecessary especially some parts in which characters were killed without any rhyme or reason. I did enjoy learning more about the word. It was more complex than I was expecting and it really explained the establishment of the caste system. If you know me at all, you will understand the fact that I’m not a huge fan of books that have perfect, happy endings. While that is enjoyable to read about at times, it does not always work and in the case of this series I think that the world wraps up a little too perfectly. I wished that Cass would have pushed for a little more complexity. I don’t know if that is evident in the two spin-off novels; however, I think I may give them a try.

With all of that being said I am glad that I did give the series a chance. I still don’t think it’s the best written series that I’ve ever read, but I can understand why people seem to enjoy it so much and why people can’t get enough of Cass’ stories. The woman can write a pretty good story. In addition to that, I still do not think that I understand the purpose of having Aspen in the story. While I understand that he made America more indecisive, it seems as though America and Maxon could have had enough problems and issues without involving the storyline of Aspen. And I don’t think that Maxon would have really gotten over the relationship between America and Maxon that quickly in real life. It was too perfect. I’m interesting in seeing where she decides to take the story in the next two books. I’ve heard that many people don’t like or don’t enjoy the main character.

For the most part I did find the series enjoyable. I thought that it was a cute contemporary romance with enough drama to go around. America was not the best female lead and she worked my nerves more than a few times; however, towards the end she did grow on me and I was rooting for her to find herself and build her relationship with Maxon. As I’ve said with all of my reviews, I definitely can see and understand why people seem to love this series so much. It has certain elements that are addicting and elements that draw the reader in. If you’re looking for a quick series to read I would definitely recommend this series.

15 June 2018

Friday #56, #49 The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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: N/A
# of Pages: 340
Publication: July 19th, 2016
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Source: Library Copy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 
Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

So I'm currently reading this book for a book group that I'm hosting at the library. I'm not usually a huge fan of mystery and thrillers; however, I think that this one is one that I might actually enjoy. I don't really want to say anything about it because I feel like I'll spoil it. If you have read it let me know in the comments below.

"White. White. Everything was white. The pale wood floor. The white velvet sofas. The long raw-silk curtains. The flawless walls. It was spectacularly impractical for a public vessel---deliberately so, I had to assume." 
What are you reading this Friday?

14 June 2018

The Elite by Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection, #2
# of Pages: 336
Publication: April 23rd, 2013
Source: Library Audibook
Genre: Dystopian/Fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

The Selection began with thirty-five girls. Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen? America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

*Please keep in mind that this is the second book of the series so their may be some spoilers.
As the second installment of the Selection series, I found the Elite to mimic some of the same aspects of The Selection. America still couldn’t decide whether she wanted to be with Aspen and Maxon which really annoyed me. The love triangle of this book really isn’t needed when it’s all said and done. I think it was added in an attempt to make the book interesting. However, by the end of this novel, I didn’t really believe that Aspen served a purpose. The story would be the same with or without him. With that being said, the angst is definitely a part of this series that I don’t like. I thought I would enjoy it; however, the love triangle kind of ruined the “love” aspect of this book for me. What I did enjoy was the background information related to the world building. The reader receives the opportunity to learn so much about the world of Illea. There is a lot of historical information that makes you question the purpose of the caste system.

For some reason I had more respect for Maxon in this book. In the first one, he annoyed me and appeared to have no depth; however, in this book a lot was revealed about his personality and the relationship that he shares with his mother and father. By the end of the book I thought his actions were commendable and my heart went out to everything that he struggled with as a prince and the “prize” of the selection. Even though the selection is hard on the chosen girls, I found that the selection process is also hard on Maxon. He doesn’t exactly know who to trust. A lot of the girls could appear to love him; however, he always has to take into consideration that they would have their own motives, dreams, and ambitions. Some are looking for love while others may simply be looking for a crown. I also believe it took a lot of courage for him to shut down the bullcrap of America’s indecisiveness. He, like any other human being in their right mind, would not want to put up with the fact that America wanted to keep everyone on a leash until she made a decision about what she wanted.

Beside America’s indecisiveness this book was okay. I enjoyed it as much as the first novel and I’m still interested in learning more about the history of Illea and the caste system. The book definitely ended on an interesting note. If you looking for a quick read than I would definitely recommend this series.

13 June 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday #29, Fresh Ink: An Anthology

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: 208 
Publication: August 14, 2018
In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print. Careful--you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written--whose next chapters are up to you. Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared. Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

This is one of my most anticipated anthologies for the year. I'm super excited for this book because it has so many amazing authors. These are the people who can speak to the experience of writing and reading diverse books and I'm super excited to get into their stories. There is even a graphic novel and a one-act play included. I think that I'm most excited about the stories written by Jason Reynolds, Nicola Yoon, and Daniel Jose Older. It'll be really fun and exciting to see how these stories were developed. What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

11 June 2018

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Series: Percy Jackson & The Olympians
# of Pages: 375
Publication: March 1st, 2006
Source: Personal Copy
Genre: Fantasy/Mythological
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse - Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena - Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

This book! At the time of me writing this review, I have completed my second reading of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Over the past few years, I have recommended this book to family, friends, co-workers, and children at the library. There is so much action, mystery, and insight to Greek mythology that it's perfect for any reader of any age.

One of the things that I love about this book is it's accessibility. The text is not only easy to read, but somehow manages to capture the attention of all readers. It's fast paced and takes the reader on an adventure of a life time. I always recommend these books to readers who are interested in Greek mythology simply because they provide a glimpse into all the aspects of Greek mythology including major and minor gods, terminology associated with Greek mythology, and those characters that people often forget about when they discuss Greek mythology. Even though this was my second time reading the book, I found that I still learned so much. It's fun to understand and know the history behind the "Big 3," but I find it even more fascinating to learn about other gods and goddesses.

Of all the things about this book, I also really love the character development. Percy is quite unsure of himself in the beginning and does not really understand how he fits into the world of Greek gods and goddesses and demigods. Like him, the reader is ultimately kept in the dark and is only revealed certain aspects of the world as Percy figures them out. It's an interesting concept and I loved that the reader was given the opportunity to discover the world just as Percy did. Another part of character development that I really enjoyed was the friendship between Percy, Groover, and Annabeth. There is no way they could have made it through their quest without each other and I loved that they depended upon one another, gave each other confidence, and motivated each other to make the best decisions.

Overall, this book is wonderful and there is no way I can give it enough praise. I binged the series in no time and loved it so much that I can see myself reading it over and over again. If you're into mythology and you're looking for a new and fun series to check out, I would definitely recommend this book and the books that follow.

08 June 2018

Friday #56, #48 Furyborn (Empirium Trilogy #1) by Claire Legrand

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: Empirium, #1
# of Pages: 512
Publication: May 22nd, 2018 
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Library Book
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 
When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first. A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

This is a book that has received a lot of hype since copies of arcs were sent out in a book subscription box. While I love fantasy, I was hesitant to pick this book up because of the fact that I have trouble appreciating books that have a lot of hype. Nevertheless, this one sounded so good that I really just wanted to get a copy of it as soon as possible. So far it's pretty good. The world building is a little on the complex side so I'm having some trouble following along, but hopefully it will get better.

"Harkan ignored the harsh edge to her voice. He kissed her wrist. 'Anything. You can hunt game. I'll teach you how to grow tomatoes. You can wear a straw hat.' He pressed his lips to her shoulder." 

What are you reading this Friday?? 

05 June 2018

My Top 5 Favorite Audiobooks

Happy Tuesday everyone! I wish that I could say that it's almost Friday, BUT we're still in the beginning of the week, but here's to making it a great week! So I decided to do something a little different and give you guys some audiobook recommendations. I'm a huge advocate for audiobooks and these are definitely some of my favorites. Let me know if you have any recommendations!

Audiobook #1: Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson 
Read By: Susie Riddell
Why It's So Good: The narrator is freaking AMAZING. I figured I was going to love the story because of the summary, but the Susie made the story come alive. Her ability to do so many voices makes the story that more entertaining. I know a lot of people are weary of children's books, but I would definitely recommend this book as a gateway into children/middle grade novels. 

Audiobook #2: We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
Read By: Gabrielle Union
Why It's So Good: I won't say that I disliked Gabrielle Union before listening to this audiobook, but I was not her biggest fan. However, this audiobook was breathtaking and I really appreciate Union's honesty and her ability to allow readers into the very personal corners of her life. Hearing everything in her voice made it that much better.
Audiobook #3: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Read By: Wil Wheaton
Why It's So Good: I'm not the biggest fan of science fiction; however, Wil makes the characters in this novel come alive and you really feel like you're living in a video game/alternate reality. While the book is still slow in the beginning, I could not stop listening to it after the first 100 pages.

Audiobook #4: Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Read By: Emily Gray
Why It's So Good: This audiobook is SOOOO good! I listened to this when I had to make an 8 hour drive to Florida and it had me literally laughing out loud in the car. I'm sure people driving past me thought that I was crazy. It really felt as though the main character, Becky, was telling you about her life in detail. I felt so connected to her as a character.

Audiobook #5: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Read By: Jim Dale
Why It's So Good: I mean who hasn't heard how good Jim Dale is at doing the voices for these audiobooks. I'm currently working my way through all of the books in audio and it's been an amazing and beautiful journey. No explanation is needed for this one.

 Okay everyone! Those are my audiobook choices! If you listen to audiobooks what are some of your favorites???

04 June 2018

Marvel-a-thon Readathon Sign Up

Happy Monday everyone!! So I was scrolling through my reading lists of blogs that I follow and I found out about this cool readathon that is being hosted by Jamieson @ Jami Shelves. I read over the rules and guidelines and thought that this would be incredibly fun and cool to do. Here are the guidelines:
  • The aim of this challenge is to read as many books as you can, and to finish the challenge you reach the final movie in the MCU phase three (Avengers 4). 
  • You can read books in any order WITHIN phases, but need to complete the phase to move onto the next one.
  • We’ve all skipped watching a Marvel movie here and there, which means you’re allowed two skips per phase, and skips can be rolled over into the next phase if they’re not used. So in total you have 6 skips to play with.
  • You can’t use one book for multiple challenges one book per category must be read.
  • Books can be ANYTHING and any length. Audiobooks, ebooks, graphic novels, comics, fanfics and anything else you can think of.

So these are the challenges. Keep reading to see my TBR! If there isn't a cover a book on a challenge then that means that I intend to skip that challenge.

Let me know if you guys end up participating! I think it's a pretty cool readathon! : )

02 June 2018

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

Series: The Diviners (#3)
# of Pages: 552
Publication: October 3rd, 2017
Source: Personal Copy & Audibook
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They're more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward's Island, far from the city's bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten--ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows. With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they've ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation--a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.

Where do I even begin with this book?? That's the ultimate question because when it's all said and done this book completely and totally destroyed me. I was not expecting certain things to occur. And those events definitely had me in tears. If you know anything about me, you know that it takes a lot for a book to make me cry; however, I had a full on breakdown while listening to this book in the car. Speaking of audiobooks, I clearly listened to this one on audiobook and I highly highly recommend that anyone that is new to this series does the same. January LaVoy is the most amazing narrator that I have encountered. This book is filled will a diverse cast and January will make you feel as though the audiobook is a full cast production instead of just one person. If you haven't had the opportunity to check her out definitely do that.

Okay so back to the book. This is the third book in the four part series of the Diviners. Libba takes her time with these books and I love and appreciate that. All of the books takes place in the 1920s amongst a group of young adults known as diviners. These diviners have special powers that allow them to do a wide variety of things; however, as most people fear what they don't understand, the diviners are feared by most of the community. This book focuses on their journey to discover the wants of the demonic man in the stove pipe hat. Dynamics between characters change and there were characters that we used to love that we grow to dislike and then they're characters that have made a complete 180 (most notably Sam--who I'm in love with). One thing that I loved and I mean absolutely loved about this book was the social commentary. It was clear that this book has some statements toward the election of Donald Trump. The book clearly outlines the idea that when we ostracize and make victims of people who are different from us, we are then headed towards a very hateful and dangerous world. This book covers topics like racism, immigration exclusion policies, America's not so friendly history, etc...all of the things you would expect to be important during the time of an election. While the social commentary may seem subtle to some people, it was right there in my face and I loved it.

It took me a while to read this book not because it was slow or boring but because I didn't want it to end knowing that it may take Libba over a year to finish the next book. It was well-written with so many diverse characters and diverse situations. We learn so much about characters and their backstories as well as their abilities. I loved that the climate of this book forced everyone to work together. I think in the last book the diviners will need each other more than ever. It's a beautiful thing to see them working together. The book left off on such a cliffhanger that I can't wait to see what the next book has in store for readers. While it wasn't as scary as the first couple of books, this was another great installment to the series.

01 June 2018

I've Been Missing In Action....AND Reading Updates

So, I'm sure a lot of my viewers and readers noticed. I completely disappeared for over two months on my blog. This wasn't accidental. It was intentional. I had a lot of personal things going on that required me to not only focus on my physical health, but also my mental health. While I was upset and heartbroken to be away from reading, blogging, and making YouTube videos, I must say that my absence was much needed. So how am I doing now that I've decided to come out of my hiatus? I'm actually doing quite well. I can't say that everything is perfect, but things are 10 times better than what they were. I've missed the community, I've missed reading, and I've missed interacting with fellow readers and bloggers. I'm more than thrilled to be back and I hope to put out some great content for the rest of the year. Now on to the books! What did I read while I was away? Honestly, not much, but I did manage to make it through a few things and I'm currently back in the mood to read everything that I can get my hands on.

Here's what I read while I went "missing."

I won't go to a description of each right now, but I did enjoy most of these titles. I would say that seven in two and half months is not so bad especially when all I wanted to do was curl up with a blanket and watch TV. Like I said before I'm so excited to be back and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year is going to bring in terms of reading, blogging, and making videos!!