Saturday, June 30, 2018

DNF&Y [6]

DNF&Y is used to explain why I gave up on certain books, and what about them just didn't work for me. What I disliked about a book might be something you love, so it helps to share your thoughts even when they're negative! If you would like additional information, please click on the DNF&Y tab at the top. If you want to join, you can link up at the bottom!

The Stars at Oktober Bend 
by Glenda Millard
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Beautiful, lyrical prose, told in two voices, lifts up a poignant story of two traumatized teens who find each other in a small riverside town.

i am the girl manny loves. the girl who writes our story in the book of flying. i am alice.

Alice is fifteen, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone. Something inside Alice is broken: she remembers words, but struggles to speak them. Still, Alice knows that words are for sharing, so she pins them to posters in tucked-away places: railway waiting rooms, fish-and-chips shops, quiet corners. Manny is sixteen, with a scar from shoulder to elbow. Something inside Manny is broken, too: he once was a child soldier, forced to do terrible, violent things. But in a new land with people who care for him, Manny explores the small town on foot. And in his pocket, he carries a poem he scooped up, a poem whose words he knows by heart. The relationship between Alice and Manny will be the beginning of love and healing. And for these two young souls, perhaps, that will be good enough.

DNF at 17%

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

Bahh bahh black sheep (that's me)... I struggled with this after two pages, but I kept going until I got to Manny's perspective. I know a lot of people have liked this, and they say the story is beautiful, but I found it really hard to follow the writing. I understand that Alice has brain damage, and I appreciate the authenticity the author was going for, but it didn't work for me. There are no capital letters when Alice is speaking, she makes up her own words when something doesn't make sense, and she switches from sentences to poetry quite often. It was hard for me to follow, so I felt like I was missing important aspects of the story.

I thought Manny's perspective would have been easier to read from, but one of the first things he says is, "It was a girl. Her hair was very long. Down to her waist it was. That is how I knew that person was a girl," and I was finished. I know the synopsis mentions him being broken, too, so I guess it makes sense on some level, but it was a struggle for me.

I really wanted to like this, so I hate that it wasn't a good fit. However, if the formatting doesn't bother you, definitely give it a shot. I can honestly say that the voice is original, and Alice brings a unique perspective to the story.

*Share your DNF&Y post! Please leave the direct link to your DNF&Y post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Narrated by Hamish R. Johnson & 
Chelsea Bruland
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough. 
“The bookstore is a building, but it's not only the building. It is the books inside. People are not only their bodies. And if there is no hope of saving the things we love in their original form, we must save them however we can.”
It was incredibly difficult to choose just one quote for this review. I loved so many of the things said within the pages of this book; however, I was listening to an audiobook... this means I had to keep rewinding my favorite phrases so I could write them down by hand. I've already ordered a physical copy for my shelves, and I cannot wait to read it again just so I can underline, highlight, and dog-ear all of my favorite parts. I'm sure a lot of you are cringing right now, but I actually think Words in Deep Blue would appreciate my attempt at sharing my love for it with the world. Maybe I'll end up donating my marked-up copy so someone else can see how much I enjoyed this book.

“Second hand books have a way of travelling, sure. But what travels forward can come back.” 

I could sit here and type, "I loved this!" over and over again, but it wouldn't really encompass everything this book made me feel. This is the kind of book you want to leave lying around the city so strangers can pick it up and enjoy something you loved. It's a book you want to shout from the rooftops about. Words in Deep Blue is a book you want to read again and again until the cover is so worn you can barely make out the words on the cover.

I think the idea of a Letter Library is brilliant. Where can I find one? It's an area of the bookshop where people can read books and leave notes in the margins. They can circle words or highlight phrases, and even leave letters for loved ones or random people to find. These books cannot be bought, and they live within the Letter Library forever. One of the characters said that these books tell the story of people, and I absolutely love the concept. 

Words in Deep Blue was a beautiful story about friendship and family, love and loss, and most importantly--hope. The hope of a better tomorrow, and the hope of a future. The present is constantly changing, and there's not much we can do about the past, but the future is full of endless possibilities. 

“The past is with me; the present is here. The future is unmapped and changeable. Ours for the imagining: spreading out before us. Sunlight filled, deep blue, and the darkness.” 

I devoured this book from beginning to end. Truthfully, I could have started back at page one as soon as I'd finished. I'm still processing everything that's happened, and all the things said at the end, but every part of me is ready to dive right back in and start over. Words in Deep Blue is a book that will stay with me forever... it's left a mark on my soul.

"I’m naked and duck taped to a pole. That’s what I am. That’s an accurate description of my feelings."

Last chance: Only a few hours left in the It's My Birthday! giveaway!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

My Weekly Pull [26] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [1]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Hunt for Wolverine Mystery In Madripoor #2 (of 4) by Jim Zub, Thony Silas, Greg Land
Marvel Two-In-One #7 by Chip Zdarsky, Jim Cheung
Moon Knight #196 by Max Bemis, Ty Templeton, Becky Cloonan
Venom #3 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman
Wakanda Forever Amazing Spider-Man #1 (of 3) by Alberto Alburquerque, Terry Dodson
I really enjoyed the first Hunt for Wolverine Mystery In Madripoor. It's a team of women: Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Domino, Kitty Pryde and Jubilee, and they kick ass. I love this mashup of people and watching them work together to find someone they're all connected to... Wolverine. They each have a reason for being there, but that doesn't mean everyone is on the same page. I cannot wait to continue this one!

It feels like it's been forever since I read the last Marvel Two-In-One. I had almost given up on the series, but the last issue really brought things together and made me want to keep going.

Yes, Moon Knight has been absorbed and he's in a brain (sort of). The previous issue was crazy, and I cannot even begin to imagine where the story will go from here.

I think the cover for Venom is my favorite one so far! However, I'm curious why Spider-Man is so small... did he shrink, or did Venom grow?? (I know it's just for the cover, but still...)

Wakanda Forever Amazing Spider-Man is only going to be three issues, but it looks so good, right? (To clarify... Wakanda Forever is the new series, and Wakanda Forever Amazing Spider-Man (#1) is just going to be a small part of it! I believe Wakanda Forever X-Men will be next month (#2), and then Wakanda Forever Avengers (#3) after that.)

Are you reading any new comics this week? Let me know! If comics aren't your thing, check out my Waiting on Wednesday post below. 

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. (Did Jill stop doing this feature? Her blog has been inactive for awhile now, and I was wondering if someone else took over... Does anyone know?)

Edit 6/27/18: I've discovered that Jill is no longer actively posting, so from now on I will be linking to Can’t-Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

I'm actually going to highlight two books this week... They're both from Rick Riordan Presents and have a Percy Jackson vibe to them. I can only hope they'll be just as magnificent! Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series we've read many times, and one I'm sure we'll continue to read a lot over the years. Riordan is able to imbue magic into his words, so it makes sense that his stories are easy to get lost in and impossible to forget. I already have high expectations for both of these!

The Storm Runner (The Storm Runner, #1)
by J.C. Cervantes, Jennifer Cervantes
Expected publication: September 18th 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A contemporary adventure based on Maya mythology from Rick Riordan Presents!

Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He'd much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie, than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno—for his one good leg. What Zane doesn't know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy. A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he's destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in—unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happens. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane. When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father. To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can't even walk well without a cane?

Feisty heroes, tricky gods, murderous demons, and spirited giants are just some of the pleasures that await in this fresh and funny take on Maya mythology, as rich and delicious as a mug of authentic hot chocolate.


Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha lee
Expected publication: January 15th 2019
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Rick Riordan Presents Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her.

To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds. When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

This sci-fi adventure with the underpinnings of Korean mythology will transport you to a world far beyond your imagination. 

What do you think of these? Are you a big fan of Rick Riordan? I've read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the Heroes of Olympus series. Both are about Greek mythology, which I love, and I'm excited The Storm Runner focuses on Maya mythology! It's not something you read about every day, and I think it'll make a wonderful MG book. 

Dragon Peal is about fox spirits and draws upon Korean mythology, which is awesome. I cannot wait for both of these to be released so I can read them myself and to my kiddos! (I know Riordan himself didn't write these, but again... they have a very Percy Jackson vibe!)

Today is the last day to enter the It's My Birthday! giveaway!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tell Me Something Tuesday [2] & Top Ten Tuesday [1]

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings! It's a weekly meme that discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. 

Q: What is worse: cliffhanger, abrupt ending or open ending?

I don't always like it when stories are perfectly wrapped up and tied with a bow (although that can be nice sometimes), so I usually prefer an open ending. It allows for endless possibilities, and you can find comfort/satisfaction in knowing that the characters you fell in love with will have a future somewhere. Even if you don't know exactly what that future is, it's fun to imagine different scenarios for them that you feel fit the rest of the story (or just something you wanted to happen).

Cliffhangers are not my favorite, but they can be written well. If I felt like the majority of the story had some resolution, and the cliffhanger is essentially just there to set up the next book, I'm okay with it. If there is a cliffhanger at the end and I haven't been given any explanations or justifications, I'm going to be pretty upset. I'll feel like I've been on a journey with someone and gained nothing from it, which leads me to...

Abrupt endings are the worst. They can be done in the form of a cliffhanger, or the author can just rush through the ending. I feel cheated when that happens. A book's story will flow and be descriptive, but the ending will make me feel like a rug has been pulled out from underneath my feet. It could also be referred to as Reader's Whiplash (it's a thing, I swear). When there are zero explanations, resolutions, or even an ounce of closure, I get really mad and tend to throw books. I also feel like I've wasted my time when a story is really enjoyable and then abruptly stops for seemingly no reason. The ending should be given just as much time and attention as the rest of the book (maybe even a little more). Endings really sticks with me, so I want them to be as great as the rest of the book.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I'm putting my own spin on this week's topic: Ten Book Series I Forgot to Finish

I know most of you will be able to relate to this, because who hasn't read a new release, enjoyed it, and then forgot to follow up with the rest of the series... it happens. New books come out every day, so it's likely some slip through the cracks. Here is a list of ten (there's actually way more than this) book series that I forgot to finish. 
  1. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare 3/6
  2. Hush, Hush Series by Becca Fitzpatrick 1/4
  3. Beautiful Creatures Series by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl 2/4
  4. Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer 6/8
  5. Touch Series by Laurie Faria Stolarz 3/5
  6. Need Series by Carrie Jones 3/4
  7. The Body Finder Series by Kimberly Derting 2/4
  8. The Dark Devine Series by Bree Despain 2/3
  9. Daughters of the Sea Series by Kathryn Lasky 1/4
  10. Fallen Series by Lauren Kate 2/5
Doing this post made me realize that there are quite a few series I'd completely forgotten about. Like I said before, it's likely that I read a book when it was released and then forgot to continue the series once the next book finally came out. A lot can happen in a year, and there's no way I can remember every single series I've ever read. #booksonbooks

This has given me an idea though... maybe next year I'll challenge myself to finish all incomplete series on my shelves/TBR, or at least a few. Let me know if you have any suggestions or know someone that already hosts a feature like this. If not, I'll get creative and make one myself (maybe).

Have you read any of these? If so, should I finish them? I'll probably need to restart every series from the beginning, because I seriously doubt I'll remember what's going on. I'm pretty sure I started all of these when I blogged under Books, Sweets and Other Treats.

There are only two days left to enter the It's My Birthday! giveaway.

Thanks for stopping by! 😁

Monday, June 25, 2018

Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Narrated by Rebecca Soler
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone... except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

I didn't think a 17-18 hour audiobook would be that long, but I was very, very wrong. It wouldn't have been too bad on its own, but the audiobook I listened to before this one was equally as daunting. (It was Cress by Marissa Meyer, so maybe this author just likes to write big books!) I'll start spacing out the lengthy audiobooks from now on so my brain/ears don't feel so overwhelmed. It didn't help that I borrowed this from my library and wasn't able to finish it before it expired. I had to go back on the Wait List for a few weeks.

I am a huge fan of Marissa Meyer and all of her other books! However, Renegades was a tiny step down for me. While I enjoyed the story and the world-building, I never felt really connected to the characters. I thought they were interesting with unique powers, but there wasn't a connection on a personal level. It doesn't take away from the story at all, and wanting to feel tied to the characters is a personal preference.

Renegades is told from varying POVs, though I do think we see more from Nova's perspective. I love that we're sort of rooting for both the villains and the superheroes in this story, and Meyer does a wonderful job of showing how there can be good and bad on both sides. Not all of the Renegades are kind and want to help people, but instead enjoy showing off their powers and bullying others into doing what they want them to. The same can be said for the villains. The Age of Anarchy was started with the best of intentions, but other villain gangs came to power and started doing villainous things. It's hard to see everything as black and white, because a person's intentions should matter.

I will say that there are a lot of surprises throughout Renegades. Meyer kept me on my toes and threw some really crazy stuff at me when I wasn't expecting it. I hate that it ended when it did, or where it did, because I'm left with a ton of questions that I know won't be answered until the next book. A switch seems to have clicked in Nova, and I'm curious what this means for her going forward. Everyone has secrets, and it's only a matter of time before they're all exposed.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mini Reviews [8]

Dormouse and His Seven Beds by Susanna Isern,
Marco Soma (Illustrator), Ben Dawlatly (Translator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 
Dormouse wakes up in a different bed each day.
In Rabbit's carrot box,
in Robin's tie drawer,
and even on Deer's antlers.

But why doesn't Dormouse sleep in his own bed? 


I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I thought Dormouse and His Seven Beds was an interesting story about loneliness, and what someone might do to avoid it. Dormouse is afraid to sleep alone, so he chooses a different friends' house to sleep in each night, but they are shocked and a little annoyed by his sudden appearance.

Eventually, they tell Dormouse he can no longer show up in their homes and that he needs to remain in his own bed at night. Dormouse starts to explain, but the others refuse to listen or even let him speak at all. They treated him harshly because they saw his actions as an inconvenience, and instead of asking him what was wrong or how they could help, they turn him away.

This causes Dormouse to make poor choices and his friends have to come to his rescue. They only do this once they realize he wasn't in anyone's home the next morning, and then discover that he wasn't in his either. In the end, everyone is happy and understanding, but I wish there had been more of a lesson within the story. I believe it was supposed to address loneliness, but I was focused on how selfish his friends were being. They cared more about the inconvenience than they did about their friend.

Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri
Expected publication: November 6th 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Tiger is a very lucky kid: she has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it’s time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger—that’s not what best friends do.

But Monster needs to scare someone…it’s a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. Thanks to her friend, Tiger has nothing but good dreams. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can’t fight it alone. Only teamwork and a lot of bravery can chase this nightmare away.

In this charming graphic novel for young readers, cartoonist Emily Tetri proves that unlikely best friends can be an unbeatable team, even against the scariest monsters.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. 

We loved this! Tiger vs. Nightmare was an amazing story about friendship and conquering your fears. My son has only recently started believing that monsters lurk in the dark corners of his room, so this book was very applicable to him right now.

However, instead of Monster being something Tiger is afraid of, Monster is her friend that lives underneath her bed. They play together every evening (her parents think she has an imaginary friend), and Monster keeps the nightmares away. They have a solid friendship and a good nighttime routine, until the night a nightmare gets through.

I don't want to give anything away, but eventually the two of them have to work together to conquer their fears, and they end up becoming better friends because of it. Tiger couldn't rely on Monster to do all of the work, she had to learn to face her fears and be there for her friend.

Tiger vs. Nightmare might look like a long book, but it's a quick read with a wonderful story. It's definitely one we're going to be adding to our shelves.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Legion (#1-5) by Peter Milligan

Legion (#1-5) by Peter Milligan, Wilfredo Torres (Illustrator), Javier Rodriguez (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A mind-bending X-Men tale from the brains of Peter Milligan (X-Statix, Shade the Changing Man) and Wilfredo Torres (Moon Knight, Black Panther)! David Haller, the son of Professor Charles Xavier, has always had trouble containing the multiple personalities in his mind. And with each personality, comes a wild and dangerous mutant power. But now, a terrifying new personality is threatening to absorb these powers and take over David's mind and body. In a desperate attempt to save himself, David seeks out the help of renowned young psychotherapist Hannah Jones to delve into his fractured mind and fight back this dark personality. But unknown to Legion… Dr. Jones brings her own demons with her...


I know there is a television show based on the main character (David Haller), but I haven't seen it. For those of you that have... is it any good? The comic was meh for me--no love or hate for the story. It was my first time reading about David, so his abilities and issues were new to me. The first comic in this series was promising, but in the end I was left feeling disconnected from what was going on.

Let's start with the ending... that would be a hard no from me. It was unexpected, I'll give you that, but not in a good way. David doesn't really give Hannah a choice when he comes to her for help, so I thought his carefree attitude at the end was obnoxious and cruel. I don't want to say too much in case someone decides to read it for themselves, but the ending ruined everything else for me.

I probably wouldn't have continued this series if it hadn't been a mini. There were only five issues, so it wasn't a long commitment, but instead of being fascinated by David and his mindfuck of personalities/alters, I was frustrated and disappointed with how everything played out. The guy has a Legion of alternate personalities residing in his mind, yet very few are mentioned and none are fleshed out. They were just there to advance the story.

Also, I thought this was supposed to be a series about David Haller, but we mostly view the story from Hannah's perspective.

The synopsis says, "And with each personality, comes a wild and dangerous mutant power. But now, a terrifying new personality is threatening to absorb these powers and take over David's mind and body," yet we don't see David or the terrifying new personality using very many powers. I think they maybe use one each at different times during the story, so why include that information within the synopsis? It's misleading. His alters don't use any powers (that I can remember), nor does David tap into them for personal use. When the baddie starts absorbing alters, he doesn't seem to gain any abilities from it either.

Overall, Legion was a decent comic with an interesting concept. I just wish it had been delivered a little differently. Maybe David could have been more of a focal point? Can he not get inside his own head? Technically, he would be his alters, but that gets too confusing. They all have different identities within his head, so I viewed them as separate individuals. In the end, this wasn't a comic for me.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Cover Reveal for Katie McGarry’s Only a Breath Apart!

“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.”
―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series 


Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no. Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be? 
“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. “Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART will be available on all retailers on January 22, 2019!

Pre-order links:
Katie McGarry Bio:
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My Weekly Pull [25]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Shanghai Red #1 by Christopher Sebela, Josh Hixson, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #20 by Jody Houser, Scott Koblish, Ryan Stegman
Ant-Man and the Wasp #3 (of 5) by Mark Waid, Javier GarrΓ³n, David Nakayama
Hunt For Wolverine Claws of a Killer #2 (of 4) by Mariko Tamaki, Butch Guice, Greg Land
Infinity Countdown Champions #1 (of 2) by Jim Zub, Clayton Crain
Runaways #10 by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka

Shanghai Red looks intense! Here is the synopsis: Red is one of hundreds shanghaied out of Portland in the late 1800s. Drugged, kidnapped, and sold to a ship's captain, she wakes up on a boat headed out to sea for years, unable to escape or even reveal who she truly is. Now she's coming back in a boat covered in blood to find her family and track down the men responsible for stealing her life out from under her.

I know it's wishful thinking, but I hope it's not going to be as bloody and violent as it sounds. A little bit of fighting and gore doesn't bother me, but sometimes comics take it too far. 

Question: What is the actual title for this comic?
  1. The Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows
  2. Amazing Spider-Man Review Your Vows
I'm asking this question because the cover says one thing, and the world says another. Goodreads, Comic List, and even my LCS have it listed without the "The" at the beginning. However, isn't that what the comic is called? I'm going to do a little research today/this week and see what I can find out! It's been bugging me for awhile now.

I am loving the Runaways cover! I'm a little behind on the series, but I'm curious how Alice in Wonderland ties into their current story... I'm not caught up because I'm still missing one of the earlier issues, and I like to read them in order. Skipping ahead feels like I'm cheating on the comic, lol.

That's all for me this week! What comics are you reading?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.

Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.

Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?

A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I know I said this in a Goodreads update, but Bring Me Back made me think of Clue. Players are supposed to weed out potential suspects to determine who the killer is, what weapon was used, and where the murder occurred. This book made me feel like I was playing that game, only I didn't have any cards and didn't know all of the rules. There were a few times when I had no flarking idea what was going on. 

Finn was quick to second guess himself and everyone around him. It was hard to follow his train of thought sometimes, and occasionally he would make connections with information that would have been impossible for the reader to know. When he originally attempted to decipher the email address, he comes up with something that's completely bananas.

I will say that my theories were disproven time and time again. I was always wrong with my assumptions, and frankly... that was infuriating (in a good way). I quickly became just as frustrated as Finn. Nothing made sense and everything was misleading. If you enjoy books that are nearly impossible to figure out, Bring Me Back might be a good fit for you. 

Even though I was engrossed in the mystery of this book, it wasn't too hard to put down. I think it's because I felt like the story kept going around in circles. We keep coming back to the same theories that have been reviewed and examined multiple times. The characters also tend to do the same things over and over again throughout the book.

It's always a little irritating when the main character refuses to involve the police, even when it's clear to everyone else that they should. I felt like a lot of things could have been avoided if Finn had just picked up a phone. Oh, and his obsession with Layla was strange. I didn't really understand why he felt so connected to her, or why his feelings were as intense as they were. It was literally love at first sight and also love at twelve years later, even though he hadn't seen or spoken to her.

Bring Me Back was an interesting story with a mystery that I wasn't able to solve on my own. I was kept in the dark with Finn until the very end, and I'm sure Colonel Mustard would be proud.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer

Narrated by Rebecca Soler
Synopsis (via Goodreads): In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
“It always came back to love. More than freedom, more than acceptance—love. True love, like they sang about in the second era. The kind that filled up a person's soul. The kind that lent itself to dramatic gestures and sacrifices. The kind that was irresistible and all-encompassing.” 
The audiobook for Cress is almost twice as long as the others, but I'm not complaining! I've enjoyed everyone's adventures and really liked the newest character, Cress. She's crazy smart, tech-savvy, and can hack into anything, spy on anyone, and daydream like no other. Her opera singing, line-dancing, and unfamiliarity with the outside world made her an endearing character that I instantly wanted to protect. She's been through a lot, but somehow comes across as sweetly naΓ―ve and innocent. 

Initially, I didn't think I would like Thorne. He's arrogant and rarely says the right thing. He's like an attractive pirate... in love with his ship, in love with himself, thinks everyone else should immediately be charmed by him, and he's always looking for booty. However, my opinions about him changed drastically while reading this book. We learn more about his history and see what he's willing to do for his friends. Thorne also doesn't think like everyone else, so he's able to bring a unique perspective to the table. His words may come across as cocky, but I believe he speaks from the heart. 

Queen Levana needs to die... or be stripped of her powers and thrown into a jail cell. Personally, I hope someone destroys her. She's unbelievably cruel, and it makes me angry to think about all the pain she's caused. The lives of others mean nothing, and she's willing to maim or kill anyone that disagrees with her or gets in the way.

This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites! Marissa Meyer is an incredible storyteller and I look forward to reading anything else she writes. I believe Winter is next in this series, but I don't know how I feel about her just yet. She's only in Cress briefly, but a lot was said with very little.

Let's get this revolution started!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wild Child by A.S. Green

Expected publication: June 18, 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads): I have never been to a place so tiny. Little Bear Island could fit in New York's armpit. Still a job is a job and, after surviving Afghanistan, what's twenty-four hours in podunk hell?

Providing private security for a celebrity wedding is nothing new...until I come face-to-face with Natalie O'Brien. The woman who chose someone else and kicked me to the curb six years ago. Time has done nothing to tame her. She's a red-headed beauty with a sharp tongue and nerves of steel who could seriously knock me off my game…

When my assistant bails, Natalie jumps at the chance to get off this tiny island. Now we're stuck criss-crossing the country in my SUV, with her tantalizing scent filling the cab and her smart mouth making me very...uncomfortable. Good thing the job will be over soon. So why does the thought of saying goodbye a second time make my heart stop? 
“I never spill hot coffee on my crotch,” he says as he shifts out of park. “Call it a gift.”
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

I could not put this down! I sacrificed a ridiculous amount of sleep to keep reading Wild Child, and I don't regret a single second. This is a slow-burn romance that will make your toes curl! Natalie and Jackson make you work for the feels, but it's totally worth it. 

Veronica Mars and Jessica Jones are my original loves when it comes to stories about private investigators. The lifestyle might not be luxurious, but they get to look for clues and catch people doing things they shouldn't. I feel like that would be an extremely satisfying job! Jax does security detail (when I first typed this it said, "sexurity detail"), but he's mainly a private investigator. His jobs on the road with Natalie were some of my favorite moments, and I wish they'd had more time for adventures together.

However, once they arrive in New York, they stop teaming up and doing field work with each other. The book doesn't suffer because of it, I just thought it was an exciting aspect of the story that I enjoyed and wanted more of. Natalie is plenty busy with her new job, and Jax is... Jax. Dude has issues he's working on, and they are completely valid and understandable. I liked that Natalie didn't judge him for being so different after six years, because a lot can happen in that amount of time.

Wild Child kept me on the edge of my seat, made me laugh often, and was very authentic and solid. There isn't anything I would change about the story (cough.. more field work... cough), and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. There are some pretty intense scenes that made my heart race, but there are also sweet moments that are definitely worth revisiting. I cannot wait to add a physical copy of this to my shelves!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Mini Reviews [7]

Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition
of the Inuit by Edward Field (Translator) and 
Mike Blanc (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit is a modern translation (1965) of a very old Inuit creation story by nationally known poet Edward Field. As a poem it captures beautifully the intimate relationship this Arctic people have with their natural world.

Magic Words describes a world where humans and animals share bodies and languages, where the world of the imagination mixes easily with the physical. It began as a story that told how the Inuit people came to be and became a legend passed from generation to generation. In translation it grew from myth to poem. The text comes from expedition notes recorded by Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen in 1921. Edward Field got a copy from the Harvard Library and translated it into English.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a beautiful children's book! My four-year-old was fascinated by the idea of people turning into animals and vice versa. He started talking about the different animals he would want to morph into, and I loved the conversations that followed. Some of the illustrations, which were breathtaking and utterly captivating, showed what appeared to be animal-human hybrids. A human face with deer legs and a fish tail, for example. 

Magic Words also emphasizes how important words are, and that saying them can have unforeseen consequences. Words have the potential to be powerful, and people should be careful how they use them. 

Tiny Fox and Great Boar: There
by Berenika Kolomycka
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Tiny Fox lives alone beneath his apple tree in the distant hills. He is a happy little animal, busy looking after himself and his foxy things. Then one day, a Great Boar appears and moves in under the apple tree, bringing with him a time of change and adventure. Is Tiny Fox ready? 

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I thought the illustrations for this one were really interesting! Some of the original sketch marks are still included, so you can see how a few of the pictures evolved and were created over time. It also gives the appearance of movement, which is awesome all on its own.

As for the story, it was good. I think the author shows the importance of friendship, and that being alone can be hard. A single friend has the power to change all of that, but you have to be willing to compromise and make adjustments.

I wish there had been more of a story, but Fox and Boar have very limited conversations over the course of a few seasons. As an adult, I could see what their problems were and how they likely needed to deal with them, but I'm not sure it's something a child would easily grasp. My son was more focused on the things they were doing, and not the things being left unsaid. He may have been a smidge too young for this comic-like book, but he did enjoy it overall.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is definitely a book we will be adding to our shelves! I loved the main character's tenacity and creativity. She's dedicated and incredibly focused on perfecting her idea. As the reader, we have no idea what she's trying to make, only that she tries again and again to make her project match what's in her head. As she gets increasingly frustrated, she starts to lose patience with her creations and pays less attention to what she's doing.  

In the end, her dog saves the day. He sees her frustration and offers a simple solution to help her refocus on what she was trying to accomplish. They made the perfect team, and I really enjoyed watching their story play out. I had no idea what she was trying to make at first, but the end result was absolutely perfect

This book would be great for teaching children to remain calm when they get frustrated, and how getting angry and upset only makes things worse. The Most Magnificent Thing shows readers how taking a step back can offer a different perspective and allow things to be viewed as a whole.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

My Weekly Pull [24]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday (only a day late, which is an improvement from last week) to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

I think I'm finally getting my groove back after taking a week or so off! I have a few posts scheduled, I've been responding to comments, and even venturing out and visiting some blogs myself! It took a few days of being back to feel like I was back. Blogging is a huge time commitment, and it's hard to blog about books and comics if you haven't been reading any, haha! 

Analog #3 by Gerry Duggan, David O'Sullivan, Phil Noto
Kick-Ass #5 Mark Millar, John Romita, Ozgur Yildirim
Magic Order #1 (of 6) by Mark Millar, Olivier Coipel

Domino #3 by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Greg Land
Hunt For Wolverine Adamantium Agenda #2 (of 4) by Tom Taylor, R. Silva, Greg Land
New Mutants Dead Souls #4 (of 6) by Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gorham, Ryan Stegman
Venom #2 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman

Analog is a little more violent than I would like, but the story is insanely good. What would our world look like if someone removed the internet, or at least every ounce of your privacy? What would you do? Would you choose to still use it? People in power have started using carriers that transport messages all over the world in briefcases. Their jobs aren't exactly easy, and hands tend to get cut off or blown up. People will still kill for information, despite it being harder to track down. "Aunt Sam" just made an appearance, and I don't think that means anything good for Jack.

Kick-Ass has been pretty good so far, but I'm a little worried now that they're introducing Hit-Girl into the comic. For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I really disliked Hit-Girl and everything she stood for. She's just as bad as the criminals she chooses to kill. She even uses small children to get what she wants. If this Hit-Girl is anything like the one I've read about in the past, I will probably stop reading Kick-Ass as well.

Magic Order is something new that Jacob brought to my attention. It's about five families of magicians that have sworn to protect our world from monsters every generation. Now there is an enemy that is killing them off one at a time, and I guess they need to determine who that is and stop them. It's a mini series, so everything should happen pretty quickly!

The last issue of Domino had a spectacular cliffhanger that I still think about occasionally. I need to know what happens! New Mutants Dead Souls is getting good too. Magik had to show her true self in order to break through a magical seal, but then something unthinkable happens... The different mini series for Hunt for Wolverine have been interesting. Everyone goes about looking for him in their own way, and the different teams are awesome if somewhat unexpected. Donny Cates killed the first issue of Venom! I cannot wait to see where this story goes!

Have you started any new comics? Enjoying some older issues? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood

Synopsis (via Goodreads): One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other.

Kat lands the lead in the community theater’s summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn’t sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen…

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend…so it’s not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?

As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it’s hard to dream big when she’s so busy taking care of everyone else.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was the perfect summer read! Jessica Spotswood has successfully made me want to buy a boat and live near a marina. Just the idea of laying on the deck and watching fireworks makes me smile! It sounds so relaxing and fun. One of the sisters, Bea, makes a comment about it being like a tiny house on the water, which would definitely force me to be a minimalist. 

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls had a very Gilmore Girls vibe that I enjoyed. They live in a small town where it's impossible to keep secrets, and the townspeople live for the gossip. There are also no strangers except for the tourists they occasionally see throughout the year. There's an old bookstore, a Tabby Cat CafΓ© that has literal cats (they can also be adopted from there!), and even a yearly reenactment that people get really excited about. 

I loved their Gram and how accepting she was of her grandchildren. They were all so very different, and she treasured them like they were her own. The girls also appreciated their Gram and how much she's done for them over the years. She trusts them to do what is right, and is there for them when they make a mistake. 

I feel like there was a lot that could have been elaborated on, but I understand that can be difficult when you're telling a story through five different perspectives. There is a lot going on in each of their lives, and unfortunately some of the details were left out. They were small threads that I was following in the background, but most of them are never mentioned again. An example would be Bea's movie date with Erik and how Savannah taunted her with bringing Gabe. Bea gets ready for her date, but we have now idea how it went or if Savannah followed through with her threat. Bea was also really nervous about the date, and I was curious about how it ended.

The bookstore belongs to the Garrett family, and the author references a lot of YA authors and titles. She specifically mentions Nina LaCour and a variety of LGBTQ books. One of the characters is openly gay, another is bisexual, and one is still figuring things out. I thought Jessica Spotswood did a wonderful job of creating characters that a lot of people will be able to relate to. 

There are a lot of Harry Potter references. Pets were named Remus, Sirius and Crookshanks, but there were also a lot of shirts and sayings that related to the books. It felt a little forced at times, but it wasn't too over-the-top. I was also happy about the X-Men shout out! Three of the horses were named Storm, Gambit and Rogue. 

I think there were a lot of good points made about women's rights, equality and acceptance. 

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls touches on family, friendships and how those two things can change over time. It was a fun story that I really enjoyed reading and had a hard time putting down. Every chapter was about a different sister, and I was quickly caught up in each of their stories. There were a few times when I cringed internally at someone's behavior or actions, but that's life. People make mistakes, but it's how they learn and grow from them that matters. I think each individual sister did a lot of growing over the summer, and I thought their story ended in a really great place.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

My Weekly Pull [23]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday (sorry it's a few days late) to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Ant-Man and The Wasp #1 (of 5) by Mark Waid, Javier GarrΓ³n, David Nakayama 
Ant-Man and The Wasp Living Legends #1 by Ralph Macchio, Andrea Di Vito, Todd Nauck
Astonishing X-Men #12 by Charles Soule, Gerardo Sandoval, Greg Land 
Dazzler X Song #1 by Magdelene Visaggio, Laura Braga, Elizabeth Torque

Hunt for Wolverine Weapon Lost #2 (of 4) by Charles Soule, Matteo Buffagni, Scott Koblish
Infinity Countdown #4 (of 5) by Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder, Nick Bradshaw
X-Men Red #5 by Tom Taylor, Mahmud A. Asrar, Travis Charest

I am ridiculously excited for the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie! I think Paul Rudd does an excellent job portraying the character, and he also adds his own humor to the role. The first Ant-Man is one of my favorite Marvel movies, and I loved his part in the Avengers (Winter Soldier? Maybe? I can't remember... it's the one where all the Avengers are fighting against each other.) I also think Evangeline Lilly is an amazing Wasp! I read somewhere that Wasp actually came up with the term "Avengers" for the group, and that she has led the team in the past.

I was ready to quit reading Astonishing X-Men two issues ago, and I don't feel differently now. I kept trying the newer issues because I really enjoyed how the series started, but I just can't do it anymore. This will be the last one for me, but only because of the stupid cliffhanger. It was something I had always suspected, but I'm a little curious what that means for everyone. Also, there are a lot of awesome characters in this, but the story doesn't really focus on more than two people each issue. Mystique and Rogue, Gambit and Bishop, Archangel... sooo many great people to work with, and I feel like the majority of them get overlooked. 

I didn't know very much about Dazzler until I started reading Runaways, so I'm excited to see how she will be portrayed in this new comic! I always love reading the first issue to see how I feel about it before officially adding it to my Pull List. (Edit 6/10/18: Dazzler is not in the Runaways comic! I got her confused with someone else, hah! Ooops. Sorry about that everyone!)

X-Men Red is still killing it! I love the cast of characters and the story Tom Taylor has created. I think he makes a lot of relevant points that correlate (or are applicable) to the world we live in. Right now people are being controlled by their fear of mutants and the baddies are using social media to amp up that fear and hatred. It's spiraling out of control, and even the mutants themselves can be affected by it.