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9/18/2017

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda | Book Review




Book Review:

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda


Spoilers?
Maybe some.

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Title - Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening 

By - Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda
Publication - July 19th, 2016 by Image Comics
Format - Paperback, 202 pages
Genre - Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Steampunk, Horror, Fiction
Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

Marjorie M. Liu -  (Author)
New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Marjorie Liu is best known for her fiction and comic books. She teaches comic book writing at MIT, and leads a class on Popular Fiction at the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop. Ms. Liu's extensive work includes the bestselling "Astonishing X-Men" for Marvel Comics, which featured the gay wedding of X-Man Northstar and was subsequently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Prior to writing full-time, Liu was a lawyer. She currently resides in Boston.

Sana Takeda - (Artist)
Sana Takeda is an illustrator and comic book artist who was born in Niigata, and now resides in Tokyo, Japan. At age 20 she started out as a 3D CGI designer for SEGA, a Japanese video game company, and became a freelance artist when she was 25. She is still an artist, and has worked on titles such as "X-23" and "Ms. Marvel" for Marvel Comics, and is an illustrator for trading card games in Japan.



The Rating :



My Review:


My review in a gif. Which equals 5 stars.



The Cover:
Although they say never judge a book by it's cover I believe the cover should represent what the book is going to be like or at least some aspect of it.
The cover was what made me pick it up and eventually buy it. I think that if I hadn't seen the really nostalgic looking cover I wouldn't have gotten to see that this really cool graphic novel was there amongst Superman and Batman comics.
By nostalgic, I mean that the cover looked like some of the comics my brother used to have and a little like some of the art out of a Final Fantasy art book.


The Story:

This graphic novel is about a girl named Maika that is being sold as a slave to a group of rich powerful men, but then she gets sent to a scientist lady that is doing experiments on whatever slaves they caught in order to harvest their magical energy. 
I'm not going to say much more than that as to not spoil the story. But after reading the first few pages I was interested in the story and read until the last page.


Overall:

One of the thing that attracted me to this book was the cover and the quote by Neil Gaiman on the cover. And I'm not interested in everything he does but that quote from him and the cover together made me interested and the very next day I went again to walmart and bought it with some money I had saved up. 




via GIPHY


The illustrations in this book gave me some Ghibli feels, specifically from Princess Mononoke. Because of the spirits and the boar monster in the beginning that looks like the monster that is inside of her. 
But aside from the Ghibli vibes, it also gave me some nostalgia. Mostly because when I was younger I played my big brothers Final Fantasy games and stuff. And this story had that feel from the buildings, and the worlds and even the creatures are reminiscent of Final Fantasy creatures. 

I'd say that if you like the more fantasy side of Ghibli, old school Final Fantasy, and even Saga then you'll like this graphic novel.



via GIPHY

Most of the pages are filled with illustrations that are detailed and some that are gruesome. The colors go from dark/blueish to lighter pages that have yellows and oranges; like golden even. But the entire book gives off this 'rainy day' tone to it.


I'd say that even if this is full of dark and gruesome bits and it even goes to 'f*cked up' levels, I would love to continue to read the rest of this series.

The illustrations are awesome, the characters are well created and it's so strange and different from what I've been reading recently that it is easily one of my favorite reads of the year. Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda are awesome and kickass creators.



Get a copy at:
Barnes&Noble  |  Amazon US


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Book Depository
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7/19/2017

Waiting on Wednesday #17 - Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson






Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases.

Another book by Lily Anderson and I can't wait to read it.   





Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson

The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer. 

1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mother's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer's going to be great.



Published by: Wednesday Books
The Release Date for the book is:
November 21st 2017
Pre-Order:
Barnes&Noble  |  Amazon US
Or pre-order it from Book Depository using my Affiliate link:
Book Depository
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7/12/2017

Waiting on Wednesday #16 - A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland




Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases.

A girl who along with everyone in her family s cursed by Death to be debilitated by their fears and eventually die by them sounds so cool. Like I can't wait to get my hands on this book and see just what is going on.
Plus the cover with that pretty light purple color and a skeleton arm with a flower and the black kitty is super goth cute.
😍




A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

From the author of Our Chemical Hearts comes the hilarious, reality-bending tale of two outsiders facing their greatest fears about life and love one debilitating phobia at a time.

Ever since Esther Solar's grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther's father is agoraphobic and hasn't left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck.

The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them.

Esther doesn't know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.

Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn't counted on: love.


Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young
The Release Date for the book is:
September 5th, 2017

Pre-Order:
Barnes&Noble  |  Amazon US
Or pre-order it from Book Depository using my Affiliate link:
Book Depository
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7/10/2017

Monthly WrapUp | June 2017




Although in June I got a lot of books I did not read that many. But I feel that since I did a big haul I should do a wrap-up. Even if it's just for fun.

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Trusting You & Other Lies by Nicole Williams

Phoenix can't imagine anything worse than being shipped off to family summer camp. Her parents have been fighting for the past two years—do they seriously think being crammed in a cabin with Phoenix and her little brother, Harry, will make things better?

On top of that, Phoenix is stuck training with Callum—the head counselor who is seriously cute but a complete know-it-all. His hot-cold attitude means he's impossible to figure out—and even harder to rely on. But despite her better judgment, Phoenix is attracted to Callum. And he's promising Phoenix a summer she'll never forget. Can she trust him? Or is this just another lie?

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Reading this book I thought it was going to be one thing but after I finished it I noticed that I had enjoyed the story, the characters and where everything had gone. While I did thnk that Phoenix was a bit too much sometimes I ended up not hating her which is good but I kinda wanted more out of her as a character. Like part of me wanted to see here more of a character, maybe even more fearless, but definitely be more involved in the camp activities. I don't know what I mean but it's just a feeling I got after a couple of weeks have passed since I read it.

Below is a link to my official review for Trusting You & Other Lies by Nicole Williams. And below that is a link to the GoodReads page.

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The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

A moving novel about three people who find their way back from loss and loneliness to a different kind of happiness. Arthur, a widow, meets Maddy, a troubled teenage girl who is avoiding school by hiding out at the cemetery, where Arthur goes every day for lunch to have imaginary conversations with his late wife, and think about the lives of others. The two strike up a friendship that draws them out of isolation. Maddy gives Arthur the name Truluv, for his loving and positive responses to every outrageous thing she says or does. With Arthur’s nosy neighbor Lucille, they create a loving and unconventional family, proving that life’s most precious moments are sweeter when shared.

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This was one of those books where I didn't really think much about it but just asked for it. And NetGalley gave me the opportunity to read it. And again it wasn't such a bad book. I actually liked it.
It definitely tugged a heart string now that it's been weeks, like with Trusting You & Other Lies. Where it settled in my mind and now I ca tell that it was a good book, I don't know if I feel this way about the others but I adored Arthur as a character. He was well rounded; a good person, caring, smart, and even his flaws were good. He talked to the gravestones of the dead at cemeteries, that alone is creepy but with Arthur it was endearing.

Below is a link to my official review for The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg. And below that is a link to the GoodReads page.

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Two Good Dogs by Susan Wilson

When Cody, a troubled fourteen-year-old, witnesses a murder, she tells no one. But it begins a spiral for her from which she cannot escape. Her worried mother Skye thinks a change of scene is just what her introverted, withdrawn daughter needs and since her dream has always been to own an inn, she jumps at the chance to buy a dilapidated bed & breakfast in the Berkshires. But being an innkeeper is harder than it seems and Cody still seems to fall in with the wrong crowd. When Adam March arrives as the inn’s only guest, he is accompanied by his rescued pit bull, Chance, a dog who has saved Adam in more ways than one. Cody and Chance begin a wary bond and soon, Adam finds another rescue who needs the kind of attention he gave Chance years ago. With Adam and Skye beginning a tentative relationship and Chance showing Cody how to trust again, this new-found family seems to be on the brink of second chances. But soon, a murderer is closing in—someone hiding in plain sight, and threatening everything and everyone—even Cody’s life.

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I don't know if reading the first book would make me understand some of the characters but I enjoyed this story. 
It's such a beautiful story that hit a little home because I still hurt to remember that my dog had died last year. And seeing how much Adam and Migo loved their dogs Chance and Dawg made me happy. Definitely a book that I'm glad I read.

Below is a link to my official review for Two Good Dogs by Susan Wilson. And below that is a link to the GoodReads page.

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Bookshelf Spotlight #6 - Mothership by Martin Leicht, Isla Neal



A long time ago I had started doing these posts to shine a spotlight on the books that are on my blog. Then I stopped doing them because I took a break and then just forgot. But now I want to do them again. Mostly because I got a couple of books that I want to talk about.


I bought this book in my bookoutlet haul last month. The reason why I bought it was because at the time there was that whole 50 books sale was going on and this book was on there. I checked it out, it sounded so cool. Space themed story where the main character is pregnant sounds like its going to be all over the place in a good way.
I ended up getting the cover with the girl but I kinda like it. I'm not like how some people don't like book covers to have models on them. I mean I get it but this one is cool. It's colorful, on theme and the model on the cover is close to what the book leads you to think the main character is like.


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Mothership by Martin Leicht, Isla Neal

Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole—and now she’s pregnant.

Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship—and one of them turns out to be Cole. She hasn’t seen him since she told him she’s pregnant, and now he’s bursting into her new home to tell her that her teachers are aliens and want to use her unborn baby to repopulate their species? Nice try, buddy. You could have just called.

So fine, finding a way off this ship is priority number one, but first Elvie has to figure out how Cole ended up as a commando, work together with her arch-nemesis, and figure out if she even wants to be a mother—assuming they get back to Earth in one piece.


Published by: November 12th, 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Paperback, 308 pages




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7/09/2017

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman | Book Review





Book Review:

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman


Spoilers?
Maybe some.

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Disclaimer:
This book was sent to me from NetGalley.com and the publishing company in exchange for an honest review.
Title - Retribution Rails 
By - Erin Bowman
Publication - November 7th, 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Genre - Young Adult, Western, Thriller, Fiction, Historical
REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE
When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece's path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever. 




The Rating :




My Review:


My review in a gif. Which equals 5 stars.

via GIPHY

I want to say that this was sent to me for review from publisher and that, as all my reviews, this one is full of my honest opinions.

The Cover:
Although they say never judge a book by it's cover I believe the cover should represent what the book is going to be like or at least some aspect of it.
This cover is everything!
The cover artist has achieved perfection in the form of the cover. Now all I need is to own the first one and the second one in hardcover to have next to each other on my shelves. 

From what I can tell the cover consists of shades of brown, gold and a blue color tat borders on purple. And I love those colors together. The cacti are pretty and the rails. 


The Story:

This is not a sequel to the previous book Vengeance Road. It's actually a companion to that story and even features the two main characters from VR. 
RR has a female protagonist (Charlotte) that dreams of becoming a journalist while having to deal with her evil uncle who wants her and her mother's fortune. And a guy who rides with the Rose Riders gang (Reece) against his will. Together with Kate and Jesse they get involved and try to get along despite their original dislike.


Relationships:

There were more than one couples and relationships in this book but I will only talk about one of them.


Kate x Jesse

Again I believe that these two are amazing.
They have stayed together since the end of VR and now Kate is pregnant and will soon deliver. 
Their story was a tough one and the fact that they are still together just makes me so happy. 

Charlotte x Reece
These two did not get along. Like at each other's throats. And I loved that the transition from total hate and disgust turned into friendship and trust as so nicely done. I almost didn't even notice it until the end where I was like "but didn't you guys want to kill each other".


Settings:

 Its a western so you can expect deserts, cacti, horses, saloons, and trains. And I loved it. Nearly every place in this story was amazingly described without going too into detail. It gave me e good image of what was going on and I loved that.
I think I love the train scenes, and the scenes where they are on horseback. I can totally see great panning shots if it were a movie.


Overall:

Much like Vengeance Road, I loved reading Retribution Rails. 

I read it quickly. And I loved every page of it. Yeah, it was slow for the first 200 pages but not in a bad way. Through out we learned about the characters, their pasts, and watched them grow, in a way. It was perfect.

Reece was an amazing character that you hate at first till you understand whats behind his actions. And even though I found Charlotte annoying at first I loved her as a character and was happy she grew from what happened to her. 

via GIPHY

Having Kate and Jesse in the story was perfect. They were just great in RR. And seeing that they were still together 10 years later made me feel all warm inside. And with the description of an older Jesse I kept picturing a young Clint Eastwood. 
I especially loved reading just how smart they were in having two houses and having not shown off their gold, their fortune. And Kate being a bad ass even when she was 9 months pregnant, holding a rifle and her colts was amazing. 

And as I read the last pages I felt a sense of accomplishment. Like an "I saw these people grow up" feeling. Almost like if they were stories a grandparent tells you and your happy at the end.



Get a copy at:
Barnes&Noble  |  Amazon US  |  Signed Copy


Or get it here using my affiliate link. Please:
Book Depository
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