31 August 2018

Friday #56, #52 Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

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: Reckoners
# of Pages: 416
Publication: January 6th, 2015
Genre: Science-Fiction
Source: Purchased Copy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 
Babylon Restored, formerly Manhattan, may give David answers. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David's willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And he's willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

I'm currently re-reading this book because I want to finish the third book in the series before the end of the year. It's one of my favorites, but I just neglected finishing it. If you're into science fiction and haven't had the chance to read Brandon Sanderson, I definitely recommend checking this series out.

"I took out my rifle and watched the passing landscape through the night-vision scope. Most everything was rusted and crumbling here--though this city was bigger than the others we'd passed on our way. It also looked wrong to me for some reason. So grey, so decayed. So....fake?"
 What are you reading this Friday?

30 August 2018

Truth or Dare - Movie Review

Hey guys! I'm back with another movie review. Today I'll be talking about and analyzing a horror movie which turned out to be more frightening than I expected. I hope you enjoy my review!

Director: Jeff Wadlow

  • Olivia Barron: Lucy Hale
  • Lucas Moreno: Tyler Posey 
  • Markie Cameron: Violett Beane
  • Brad Chang: Hayden Szeto
  • Carter/Sam: Landon Liboiron
  • Tyson Curran: Nolan Funk 
  • Penelope Armani: Sophia Taylor Ali 
  • Ronnie: Sam Lerner
  • Giselle Hammond: Aurora Perrineau 
  • Office Han Chang: Tom Choi 
  • Callux: Joe Ochman 

Genre: Horror 

Rating: PG-13

Brief Plot Analysis: Truth or Dare occurs when a group of college friends take a trip to Mexico. While on the trip they meet a fellow college student named Sam who takes them to ancient ruins to play a game of truth or dare. What they didn't know was that the game is real and they now have to play along or die. What I liked about this movie is that it took a childhood game and made it
completely demonic and twisted. It was fascinating and actually creeped me out. Whenever a character was asked truth or dare, they were typically asked by someone they knew and the person's face become extremely twisted. If you're confused about what I'm talking about just check out the picture on the right. My boyfriend and I were sooo freaked out about the faces that we couldn't watch it at night. The only thing that I didn't like about the plot was that it was simplistic and predictable. As a watcher, you knew where the movie was headed and who was going to die and who was going to survive. There was a huge twist at the end of the movie that developed a path for a second movie. 

Film Features: There isn't much to say about the film features to be honest. I think that they did a really good job with the special affects and makeup with making the actors/actresses smiles look extremely twisted/demonic. I'm not going to lie; I turned my head on some of the gory scenes so I can't give any specifics in relation to how those were done, but the scenes that I did see were nicely done. 

Characters: Here's where things get tricky. I liked the plot of the movie; however, the characters were not always likeable and some times I didn't really care about them. I thought that some of there situations were interesting and definitely presented themselves to be a big deal when they decided to do truth instead of dare; however, the situations were simply thrown together. They were not developed nor fleshed out. I understand that a movie can only be certain length when considering budget and viewership; however, it is awkward for movie creators to add such complex ideas and themes and then they forgo giving themselves enough time to allow their characters to work through those themes. I enjoyed Olivia, the main character, in a lot of ways, but I also thought that the was written as too innocent of a character especially when a lot of her situations started coming to light. She felt unrealistic and 2 dimensional and it didn't help that it was Lucy Hale portraying her character. I could not remove my thoughts of her acting from Pretty Little Liars
Overall Thoughts: Overall I thought that the movie was pretty decent. I like the premise and I thought that it was interesting; however, I do believe it fell short in terms of character development. It wasn't the best horror movie that I've ever seen, but it also wasn't the worst. I think that there will be a sequel to this movie and I'll definitely watch it.

29 August 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #47, Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America

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: 416
Publication: January 8th, 2019
Black Enough is a star-studded anthology edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi that will delve into the closeted thoughts, hidden experiences, and daily struggles of black teens across the country. From a spectrum of backgrounds—urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—Black Enough showcases diversity within diversity. Whether it’s New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds writing about #blackboyjoy or Newbery Honor-winning author Renee Watson talking about black girls at camp in Portland, or emerging author Jay Coles’s story about two cowboys kissing in the south—Black Enough is an essential collection full of captivating coming-of-age stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America.

This books sounds so freaking amazing! It also has some really interested stories and great authors in the line up. I'm really really really  looking forward to this book. YA seems to be coming out with some great anthologies and I'm definitely hear for it.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

28 August 2018

Top 10 Tuesday: Books That Take Place In Schools

Happy Tuesday Everyone! That means that today is a day for Top 10 Tuesday hosted by Jana at the Artsy Reader Girl. Today we're supposed to discuss books related to school. We could adjust the topic as we saw fit. I decided to go with my favorite books that take place in schools! Keep reading to find out what I enjoyed! 

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. How could I not include this book?!? Everyone knows about Hogwarts and it wouldn't be a complete list without this series. Rowling does such an amazing job and pulling readers into this world and the school setting that readers are constantly wishing that they had the chance to attend Hogwarts. A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. Okay, so I'm going to tell the truth and say that I don't really remember that much about this book, but I know that I absolutely loved it and it took place in a boarding school surrounding two descendants of Holms and Watson. Morning Glories. This is probably one of my favorite comic book series. I absolutely love Morning Glories. This book takes place in a boarding school, but the boarding school is twisted and weird and I'm so upset I haven't finished the series yet.

Food Wars by Yuto Tsukuda. This is one of my favorite manga of all time. If you're into manga and you haven't had the chance to read it PICK IT UP! It's like Iron Chef on steroids. All of the students attend an elite cooking school and compete against each other to become a part of what they call the Elite 10. I love it (if you couldn't tell) and I highly recommend it. Read my review here. The School for Good & Evil Series by Soman Chainani. This is a great middle grade series for those who readily enjoy fantasy, fairytale re-tellings, or adventure. Two girls are kidnapped and sent to a fairytale world. One is intended for the school of good and the other for the school of evil. The girls do not end up at the schools that they think they are intended for. Read my review here. The Woods by James Tynion IV. This is another one of my favorite comic book series. This is kind of a stretch in terms of taking place in a school; however, the book does start in a school before they are transported to an alien world with their classmates. If you haven't checked it out I definitely recommend it.

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray. This is such a phenomenal series. I know that a lot of people don't enjoy it, but I loved it. It's a paranormal series that takes place in a boarding school and has some interesting elements. I still haven't finished the series which is so sad, but hopefully I'll get to it soon. Read my review book 2 here. Gotham Academy. Okay so everyone has heard of Gotham city and possibly Gotham Academy. While this series started off amazing. I ended up not enjoying it at the end. You can read my review for Vol. 1 here and Vol. 2 here. One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus. This is definitely the book for people who are fans of the Breakfast Club and mysteries. I really enjoyed this book. It has some problematic elements, but overall it was pretty good. Read my review here.

Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I read this one last week and my goodness it was AMAZING. I loved that it took place at a boarding school in France. The characters were lovable and definitely kept me interested. The romance was also swoon worthy. 

27 August 2018

A Thousand Beginnings & Endings by Ellen Oh

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 336
Publication: June 26th, 2018
Source: Library Copy
Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
Goodreads | Amazon

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong. A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.

Because this is a short story compilation I'll be reviewing each individual story. Some stories have a longer review while others may simply be a sentence or two. 

Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokski - Filipino: (4 Stars) This was such a phenomenal story! It was heartbreaking because of the romance, but the legend behind the romance made me want to know so much more about Filipino myths and legends.

Olivia's Table by Alyssa Wong - Chinese: (5 Stars) This has to be my favorite out of the entire book. It has paranormal elements, but also bits and pieces about family, tradition, loyalty, and love. There is positive LGBTQIA+ representation. I loved the main character. And I kept hoping and wishing that there would be more, but then I floated back down to reality and realized that this was only a short story. I definitely want to see more from Alyssa Wong.

Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee - Hmong: (3.5 Stars) I was shocked. I mean super shocked when I figured out the ending to this story. It was good. I think there are elements of the story that could have been worked like plot, but I did enjoy the writing. This is great for science-fiction fans.

Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra - Punjabi: (3.5 Stars) This was such a fascinating story, but I only felt comfortable giving it a 3.5 stars because it left me wanting more. It was such a beautiful story about reincarnation and lost love. I really truly believe that Sona Charaipotra could write a book based around the short story. I know that I would definitely pick it up.

The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard - Vietnamese: (2 Stars) To be honest I’m rating this one so low because of the fact that I did not understand anything about it. I re-read passages over and over again and for some reason the story and I just didn’t connect and it didn’t make much sense. I could not figure out if there was a bit of magical realism going on or what, but I just know that I didn’t like it and it’s probably one of my least favorite stories in the entire collection.

The Land of the Morning Clam by E.C. Myers - Korean: (4.5 Stars) This one was sooooo good. I really enjoyed the “gaming” or “virtual reality” aspects of this story. It was well written, but also heart-breaking. I could not begin to imagine the type of loss that the main character experiences. It has so many great Korean cultural references and I like that the author added a little bit of gaming for those who were interested. This is definitely one of my other favorites in the collection and I wish that the author would have gotten the opportunity to write this as a full story.

The Smile by Aisha Saeed - South Asian: (3.5 Stars) This was not the best written story within the collection; however, what I liked about it is that it focused on women’s empowerment.

Girls Who Twirl & Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber - Gujarati : (3.5 Stars) This is perfect for those who need to understand that revenge isn't the best medicine. Sometimes it's just better to address the problem at hand.

Nothing Into All by Renee Aidieh - Korean: (4 Stars) This is a fairy tale that I will share with my children. It illustrates how good and evil are not as clear as we think and sometimes someone who seems "bad" may just have the best intentions but they've projected it in a bad way.

Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia - South Asian: (3 Stars) This one was weird and quite frankly I didn't understand a lot of it except the references to heroes. I liked the analysis of what it means to be a hero and how things out of our control can determine what path our lives will take.

Code of Honor by Melissa De La Cruz - Filipino (4 Stars) Okay this one was a huge surprise. I'm not a fan of Melissa De La Cruz at all. I don't know if it is her characters or her writing, but we usually don't see eye to eye. HOWEVER, this story was great. I was so shocked that I enjoyed it so much. It actually made me want to read her Blueblood series.

Bullet Butterfly by Elise Chapman - Chinese (5 Stars) If you know anything about me then you know that I'm a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet and this was definitely a dark/twisted version of it that gave me steampunk vibes. I loved it. It was one of my favorites in collection.

Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar - South Asian (4 Stars) Such a beautiful, beautiful story with such a smart, cunning main character. This was such a fun story to read.

The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon (3.5 Stars) - I think that what I loved about this shorty story is that it's a tale thatis re-written to give it the voice of the woman who they myth is about. I loved that she was able to dictate how the story was told. It was a fun and interesting story.

Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa (4 Stars) - I've never read anything by Julie, but if her other stuff is like this I will definitely be reading it. This is such a sad story and what's crazy is that I've heard of the myth before, but the way in which she constructed the tale was beautiful.

Overall I thought that this was a good short story collection. I usually stay away from short story compilations with so many authors because they tend to be overwhelming and I usually don't like most of them so I was super excited to find some many gems in this book. If you haven't had the opportunity to check out this book definitely give it a chance.

26 August 2018

Sunday Post #18

Happy Sunday fellow bloggers and readers. I am back with another Sunday post hosted by the lovely caffeinated book reviewer

Not only has the past week been crazy, but also the past month. I never told anyone on here, but I just received a job promotion and as a result of this job promotion I've been working harder than I ever have before and it's exciting, but also exhausting. As a result my reading has slowed down and so has my posting to this blog. In addition to that grad school has started again!! I'm super excited, but I know how stressful school can be with me working full time. I'm going to try to stay ahead of the curve this year that way I'm not bogged down with too much work. 

So these were the two books that I finished this week. They are strikingly different as one is a contemporary romance and the other is a mystery/thriller. I enjoyed both in their own ways. Roomies was a little slow in the beginning and The Perfect Mother has the strangest ending that I have encountered in a long time. I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would because the ending completely threw me off.  

There is going to be a change in what I consider "currently reading." I'm currently working on a special project where I'm determined to finish my entire physical book collection. I usually float back and forth between my books and lots of books from the library; however, I have noticed that my own personal collection has gotten out of control so I want to spend some time just working on my books and only buying books that I definitely need. I plan on doing this until the end of next year. All of the books that I will currently reading from here on out will be from my own physical collection. 

  • Book Review: A Thousand Beginnings & Endings
  • Top 10 Tuesday: Required School Readings 
  • Waiting on Wednesday 
  • Movie Review: Truth or Dare 
  • Friday #56 
  • Book Review: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice & Virtue 

22 August 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #46, Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

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: January 8th, 2019 

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows. The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing. Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

This will be the second book that I read by Karen McManus. I enjoyed her first book One of Us Is Lying which is a mystery that incorporates elements from the 1980s hit The Breakfast Club. There were some things that I found problematic; however, I'm definitely looking forward to this book especially since it's a family based secret. If you're interested in checking out my review of her first book watch the video below:

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

21 August 2018

Top 10 Tuesday: Books To Pull You Out a Reading Slump

Happy Tuesday Everyone! That means that today is a day for Top 10 Tuesday hosted by Jana at the Artsy Reader Girl. Today we're supposed to discuss books that'll pull you out of a reading slump. I thought I was going to have trouble with this topic but surprisingly I didn't. Let's go ahead and get started! 

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. This is definitely an obvious choice for the list considering that I know that anytime that I’ve been in a reading slump, picking up one of these books has always helped. It’s nostalgic for me and reminds me of how much these books got me through my childhood. Food Wars by Yuto Tsukuda. This is one is fairly new considering the fact that I just started reading it a couple of years ago; however, I have found that this has quickly become one of my go to manga’s whenever I’m in a reading slump and I need something interesting to pick up. I don’t know too many other people who read these books; however, they should definitely be read more widely. If you love food then these are the books for you. Nana by Ai Yazawa. I fell in love with this series after watching the anime. I think I was struggling a bit with understanding how to choose anime and manga and I naturally just ran to the manga of an anime that I knew I loved. I’m happy I did. It is completely amazing and I’m so heartbroken that it’s only 22 volumes because the author went on a hiatus.

Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan. I’m a HUGE fan of mythology. I don’t know exactly when I became interested, but I do know that once I picked up a Rick Riordan and started joining Percy in all of his adventures, I just couldn’t stop reading them and I know that whenever I’m in a reading slump I can just pick up one of his books. The Diviners by Libba Bray. The audiobooks for this series are amazing! I literally cannot get enough of them. If you’re in a reading slump these books can appear to be intimidating, but trust me they are amazing and well worth a listen. Fables by Bill Willingham. This is one of the most iconic comic book series to me. It’s a long and expansive world, but I love that it takes classical tales and flips them on their head. I run to these volumes whenever I’m in a reading slump. 

Giant Days by John Allison. These comics are phenomenal especially for those that like “slice of life” comics/manga. I usually get into a reading slump when I’ve hit a low and I’m depressed so reading something like this with a bright storyline and bright artwork helps me get past whatever I may be experiencing in my personal life. To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han. Jenny Han has easily become one of my favorite contemporary writers. I know that a lot of hype is currently surrounding her first book in the To All the Boys I Loved Before trilogy; however, just know that it is worth all of the hype. This book is more of a comfort read than a reading slump read for me. I included it because this book brought me back when I was feeling emotionally slumpy. It gave me hope for friendship, family, and love. Whatever After by Sarah Mlynowski. There isn’t much for me to say about this series except that it’s fun and light and is a great children’s book series to read if you’ve been reading books that are a little lengthy. 

Addicted Series by Becca & Krista Ritchie. This series had a little bit of everything for me. Once again it was there for me when I was going through a really rough time in my life. I instantly fell in love with the series and still continue to read them today.