Monday, September 18, 2017

BLOG TOUR and REVIEW: The Siren Chronicles: Book 1 by Douglas J. Sloan

Welcome to my Blog Tour stop for The Siren Chronicles: Book 1 by Douglas J. Sloan! I have a review post for this bright, shiny new book. I was provided with a free e-arc to read and review through NetGalley and Gruh Entertainment, Inc. I would like to thank them for providing me with a review copy and letting me share my thoughts on it. All thoughts and opinions on this book are 100% honest and 100% my own. I wasn't paid for my review, just provided with a free copy to read.
So, with all that introduction/explanation out of the way, here's what I thought of the book!

THE REVIEW:


Title: The Siren Chronicles: Book 1
Author: Douglas J. Sloan
Published by: Gruh Entertainment Inc.
Released: June 19, 2017
Source: NetGalley Review Copy through Gruh Entertainment, Inc.

Summary: Deep in the depths of the ocean lies a hidden land, a hidden people. They exist in myths and legends, where they've been given a sinister reputation. Mermaids, Sirens, whatever you want to call them, they exist!
Three Mermaids have been charged with the task of a Land Quest. Seanne the warrior, Lorilei the artist, and Millisine the thinker are specially chosen. They don't know exactly what they are supposed to do, but will recognize it when they see it.
Catastrophe happens when they swim into an oil spill and get separated. Land is a strange and dangerous place, filled with strange and dangerous creatures.
These three Sirens must find their way back to each other and complete their Quest, so they can save their home.
My Thoughts: I want to thank  NetGalley and Gruh Entertainment, Inc. for providing me with a review copy to read and review. I was drawn in by the cover and the subject matter of mermaids. I love a good mermaid tale.
I'm also excited to be part of the Blog Tour for this book!
Mermaid/Siren books are always fun for me to read. They bring back my childhood memories of watching Disney's The Little Mermaid, which had some similarities to The Siren Chronicles. We've got Mermaids coming to land, not knowing what to do, and trying to navigate human life. We also had some danger and evil, which made for some fun.
This author, Douglas J. Sloan, has written for a lot of TV Shows, a heavy emphasis on kids' shows, which I can see. I think this book would have worked really well as a show. The way it was written was good, but maybe a tad flat. I think being able to see what was happening would have had more impact, more oomph, than just reading it.
I wish the characters would have felt more real to me. They all felt very flat. Maybe it was because there were three Mermaids to follow. Maybe they would have felt more real on screen. I also thought the other Mermaids weren't very fair to Seanne, always making out like she was the bad one, the mean one. In my opinion, Seanne had a harder time then the other two. Did I like Seanne all the time? No, but the other Mermaids should have cut her some slack.
A reason this book didn't grip me was that I didn't feel the intensity of the Quest the three Sirens were sent on. They didn't even know what their Quest was, which was just odd.
I did think the ending was interesting. The villain and his lackeys added a bit of spice. It didn't wrap up at the end, it just raised many more questions, questions that I am curious about.
All in all, I thought this book was all right. I'm happy that I got the chance to review it, and be on a Blog Tour for it. Thanks again to NetGalley and Gruh Entertainment, Inc. I say, if you really like mermaids, give it a shot!
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3/5
Darling it's better Under Da Sea!

Want the book? Go get it here:
THE SIREN CHRONICLES, BOOK 1 is available now in Paperback and for Kindle. Additional eBook formats are coming soon.X


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Douglas J. Sloan has been a world-renowned storyteller for more than 25 years. He has been the writer, director and executive producer of some of the most successful young adult and children’s programs in history. Starting with the multibillion-dollar franchise Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, for which Sloan wrote, directed and/or produced over 200 episodes, for Fox Kids and then again for The Disney Channel.
Over the next several years, Sloan concentrated on long-form TV programs, starting with the beloved Disney Channel Movie, Johnny Tsunami. What followed was a string of highly successful “DCOMs,” including Motocrossed, Minutemen, and The Princess Protection Program starring Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato and the Nickelodeon smash TV movie, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, starring Victoria Justice. Most recently Sloan has been the executive producer and head writer of the wildly successful Dreamworks Dragons: Riders of Berk, the 119-episode TV series based on the How to Train Your Dragon book series and film franchise.
Throughout his career, Douglas has either won or been nominated for nearly every television award, including the Emmy, The WGA Award, the Humanitas Prize, The Saturn Award, and the Kid Screen Award. He currently lives in Glendale, CA with his wife, Mindy and their three dogs, Cocoa, George and Betty.

Visit Him on Social Media:
Instagram: #thesirenchronicles
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vrdjs143 / #thesirenchronicles

Thanks for stopping by my Blog Stop Tour and checking out my Review!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Reading Right Now! (132)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...


Still this

-- The Siren Chronicles (#1) by Douglas J. Sloan -- I'm still making my way through this. I got it through NetGalley, so I need to read and review it. I thought I was going to be on a blog tour for it, but I haven't heard anything back about that, so I don't think it's going to happen.
I feel like I've been trudging my way through this, and I shouldn't be, because it's not a long book. There are reasons that I haven't knocked this one out yet. First, I just started a full time job! I'm super pumped that I got on full time, I need the insurance, and I like where I work, but Full Time Job means Full Time Hours, which means less time to read, so there's that.
The other reasons are that I'm not finding myself blown away by this book. Looking at the cover, I thought I was going to get a dark, siren tale, but it's really not. It's almost like The Little Mermaid Disney movie where 3 beautiful sirens/mermaids wash up on shore. They meet with beautiful, friendly people who help them on land. These mermaids are supposed to be on some sort of quest to save their home, but we don't know what the quest is, apparently they'll figure it out once they see it. It's also just kind of a bland story, all the characters are kind of flat, I'm not really seeing them as complex characters. I don't know. I don't want to not like it, but it's not blowing me away.
I read that the author has written for a lot of TV shows, and maybe this book would have worked more in the visual sense, like on television. I don't know. I'm almost done with it, so I do think I will finish it this weekend.

What I Want To Read Next!


-- Bzrk (#1) by Michael Grant -- I really like Michael Grant's Gone Series, so I want to read something else by him. I think this should be quick and fun, and I think I'll probably like it.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel


Title: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Published by: Del Rey
Released: 2016
Source: Library

Summary: A young girl takes a walk in the woods of South Dakota and falls into a mysterious hole. The rescuers discover her laying in a giant, metal hand. No one knows where this hand came from, what it is, or even what it is made of. It's a mystery that lies unsolved for 17 years.
That little girl has now grown up to be a scientist, and she crosses paths with that Giant Hand again. She's determined to figure out the purpose of this hand that had a great impact on her life.
Told in a series of interviews with a mysterious government agent, this novel is exciting and intriguing.
My Thoughts: Well, that was fun. I've been wanting to read this book ever since I heard about it. I was intrigued by the synopsis, and the epistolary style it was written in. I think it's best to go into this book knowing only the vaguest of vague about its inside contents. A little girl falls into a hole and lands on a mysterious, giant hand, that's all you need to know. Then you can have fun discovering everything that happens next.
I'm always excited when books are written in a different format. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it can get repetitive. I think the epistolary format worked in the case of this book. The characters switched up, and it was fun to read.
One aspect that made this book fun was all the drama between the characters. Each character had a distinctive voice, distinctive personality, (except maybe one) and I felt like I liked most of them. I was surprised with how real the characters felt, because that can sometimes be hard to do in a novel written in mostly interviews.
I also felt an X-Files vibe while reading this. Our mysterious interviewer/man-with-all-kinds-of-connections reminded me of the Cigarette Man on the show. I think our mysterious interviewer was nicer, and had a soul, unlike Cigarette Man, but he was so mysterious, powerful, and had this influence over all kinds of government agencies. He also knew all kinds of secrets. He's the character that I'm probably most curious about.
This novel did have weird time jumps that I don't know if I was the biggest fan of. At times, it could feel kind of scattered.
I'm also not sure how I feel about Dr. Rose Franklin. She was just kind of an ehh character for me, not the most fun or exciting. Her story could be very interesting in the sequel though.
For all the hype about this book, I think it held its own. It was a very interesting story that I enjoyed reading. I'm excited to see what happens in the sequel. I would recommend giving this book a read. I thought it was fun.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
Okay, I'm Intrigued.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books To Read Without Knowing the Synopsis

I'm baaaaack for another Top 5 Wednesday! This week's topic is the Top 5 Books To Read Without Knowing Anything About the Synopsis. So basically, books that you go into blind. It's hard for me to go into a book without at least trying to find out something about it. The books I picked though, I do think they are more fun if you go into them knowing next to nothing, or just the vaguest of vague. I'm just going to list my picks, but I'm not going to tell you anything about them, because that would defeat the purpose!

 
  

-- Shadowlands by Kate Brian -- Read it and Find Out!
-- Night Film by Marisha Pessl -- Read it and Find Out!
-- Vicious by V.E. Schwab -- Read it and Find Out!
-- And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich -- Read it and Find Out!
-- The Merciless by Danielle Vega -- Read it and Find Out!

Those are my picks! There were probably more I could have put. Now I know some of my picks are kind of popular, and you might already know something about them, but I think they would be fun to go into blind. If you want to join in on the Top 5 Wednesday fun, you totally should! Each Wednesday is a new topic to consider and enjoy. Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers Here!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#TheReadingQuest Progress Post #2

#TheReadingQuest is over, officially, and I didn't complete my quest...


Even though it's technically over, I'm going to continue on with it anyway. Since it's based on a video game format, I'm going to do my own thing. The way I rationalize it is that it takes me FOREVER to beat a video game. I'm that type that plays for awhile, gets stuck at some point, stops playing for a time, and eventually picks back up where I left of. So, I'm seeing #TheReadingQuest as just a big game. I would love to maybe finish all the Quests. I'm just going to keep making my way across the board.

For my ROGUE QUEST, I managed to finish three books in the allotted time. The Three Challenges I finished were:

A BANNED BOOK:


Gossip Girl (#1) by Cecily von Ziegesar

A BOOK COVER WITH A PARTIALLY OBSCURED FACE:


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A BOOK WITH <500 RATINGS ON GOODREADS:


Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

The two challenges that I didn't yet complete were A BOOK PUBLISHED BY A SMALL PRESS and A BOOK WITH A ONE WORD TITLE although I do have ideas of what I'm going to read for those.
So I failed at completing #TheReadingQuest in the time allotted, but I'm going to continue on anyway. I had a lot of fun taking part in it. If I was better at readathons, I might have succeeded and finished it, but I'm not. I might keep doing my progress posts because they are fun. Did you do #TheReadingQuest? If so, did you complete your Quest?

book cover images are from www.goodreads.com and the gif is from https://giphy.com/gifs/swamp-people-troy-tRJJmcOu5EBYk/links

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: Chew, Volume 6: Space Cakes by John Layman and Rob Guillory


Title: Chew, Volume 6: Space Cakes
Written and Lettered by: John Layman
Drawn and Colored by: Rob Guillory
Published by: Image Comics, Inc.
Released: 2013 (Omnivore Volume 3 Edition)
Source: Library

Summary: The adventures just get tastier in Chew, Volume 6: Space Cakes. Tony is out of commission for a while, in the hospital, so his family and friends have to pick up the slack.
His sister Toni has a lot to do this Volume. As an agent for NASA, she can investigate anything and everything. She also has some secret special skills.
John is getting used to his new partner POYO, who is taking all the glory.
Crime is on the rise, with painters being kidnapped, vampires showing up, and a tragedy to eclipse all tragedies.
My Thoughts: CHEW IS THE BEST!! I have so much fun reading this comic series. The story is wacky and zany, I never know what's going to happen next. The art is fantastic too! Bright and colorful, and a lot of times really disgusting. I also love finding all the little hidden extras in the panels. It adds just that much more fun!
This comic series is an experience, an experience I recommend everyone partaking in.
I enjoyed the story in this Volume, how we got to spend a lot of time with Toni. Her interactions with everybody were just a lot of fun. I loved the back and forth she had with Caesar. I was also kind of sad with how it ended. Tragedy, TRAGEDY!
Can't wait to see where everything goes next. It will be awesome. I can't recommend this series enough. It's a ton of fun!
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4.5/5
Deliciously Disgusting!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Reading Right Now! (131)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...


-- Gossip Girl (#1) by Cecily von Ziegesar -- I picked this one up for a couple of reasons. One, it's been on my shelf forever. Two, I'm taking part in this thing called #TheReadingQuest, which I know I have no hope of actually completing. I'm taking the Rogue's journey, and one of the squares I had to complete was a banned book. The Rogue path was a hard path to take. So I was searching my shelves for a book that I could use that had been banned, and Gossip Girl totally worked for it. It had been banned from some school libraries because of crude, sexual content and a lot of drug use, which is kind of accurate. I mean, I don't agree with banning books, but the lifestyles practiced by the characters in Gossip Girl are not good influences for teens haha.
This book is all about a group of ridiculously wealthy teenagers and their exploits in New York City's Upper East Side. This first book is a lot like the first episode of the CW Show. I am enjoying reading it. It's very addictive and kind of fun. These kids are soooo far from where I was as a teenager, so I can't relate to them at all. I do have almost all the other books in the series, so this #ReadingQuest kind of gives me a great excuse to go through them.
Oh and #TheReadingQuest officially ends on September 10, 2017, but I plan on continuing making my way around the gameboard and just seeing if I can eventually finish it. It's supposed to be in the same vein as a game, and I don't know about you, but it takes me forever to beat a game.

What are my plans for what I'm reading next???

I'm very mixed on what I want to do next. Since I'm almost finished with Gossip Girl, there are so many books I want to pick up and read. Maybe I'll try that reading more than one book at a time thing again, see how I do. Probably not well, but I'll try anyway. So here's what I might dive into next:

  

-- The Siren Chronicles: Book 1 by Douglas J. Sloan -- I need to read this one so I can review it. I thought that I was going to be on a blog tour for it, but I haven't heard anything back about that. It's a short read, so it shouldn't take me too long. I can also use this for my #ReadingQuest as a book published by small press.

-- Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley Doyle -- I just want to read this one. I saw it on my library shelf and snatched it up. It's new, so I imagine that maybe I won't be able to renew it because other people will want to read it. I also really enjoyed this author's first book, The Accident Season.

-- Bzrk (#1) by Michael Grant -- This is coming up due at the library, so I need to read it. I really, really love Michael Grant's Gone Series, and have been meaning to pick up some more of his books. This book would also count towards the #ReadingQuest Rogue path as a One Word Title. If I finished this, and The Siren Chronicles, then I will have completed the Rogue Path for #TheReadingQuest which would be AWESOME!!

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! and my plans for what I would like to read next. What are you Reading??

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review: Bluescreen (Mirador #1) by Dan Wells


Title: Bluescreen (Mirador #1)
Author: Dan Wells
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Released: 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Welcome to Los Angeles 2050. The future is an interesting place. Technology has advanced so much that it's literally inside you. The majority of the population has a djinni implanted in their heads, and are able to plug in anywhere and everywhere. VR Gaming is super popular, and with a blink, you can check your email.
Technology also has its downsides. Since robots have taken over most of the menial labor jobs, work is hard to find. The city can be split up into the very rich and the very poor.
Marisa lives in Mirador, a lower income neighborhood of Los Angeles. She's a great VR gamer, trying her best to aim for the big leagues. She's also a pretty skilled hacker.
When a fancy new drug starts making the rounds called Bluescreen, Marisa thinks nothing of it. When her friend Anja takes it, she starts to get worried. This new drug is dangerous, and has a more evil intent than anyone could have ever realized. Marisa must save her friend and her city from a new evil.
My Thoughts: This was a pretty fun ride! Dan Wells did not disappoint. The world was a pretty cool thing to witness. All this technology right at your fingertips. The world was also interesting in how dangerous and corrupt it could be. Drugs, gangs, gaming, danger, Wells pretty much stuffed it all in there. I'm interested to see where everything goes next.
I will say, it did take me a little bit to get into the world. There was a lot going on, and it took me a little while to catch up. I found it interesting and sad how far the technology had come, but also how poor most of the population was. There was no middle ground.
I would also recommend this book as a diverse read. Some people might not count it because it's written by a straight, white guy, but ignore those people. It had characters from all over the world, and it also had a main character that was an amputee. Sounds diverse enough to me.
I am kind of curious how this is going to translate into a series. I think it could have worked really well as a stand-alone. I assume the next book will be about Marisa finding out about her past, which will be interesting.
This was a fun, exciting read, with a lot of twists and turns. I'm excited to see where it goes next and what Dan Wells does with this series. It was a fun ride.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
Drugs Are Scary.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review: The Lost Causes by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz


Title: The Lost Causes
Authors: Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz
Published by: Kids Can Press
Released: September 5, 2017
Source: NetGalley and Kids Can Press e-arc

Summary: Five kids struggling with life walk the halls of their high school. Sabrina, whose family fell apart after the death of her brother, is addicted to drugs and always searching for the next high. Z, who is not the favorite child in her wealthy family. Justin, whose anger is always red hot and ready to erupt, Gabby, whose OCD rules her life, And Andrew, convinced that his body is falling apart, but doctors disagree. They feel alone, ignored, and that their families don't care.
These five kids all get called to a mysterious meeting, with two people claiming to be therapists. Nash and Patricia say they were picked for this meeting because nobody seems to care about them. They are Lost Causes to their families.
After the meeting, the five notice differences about themselves. Their physical problems have disappeared, and they've acquired some mysterious new abilities.
Patricia and Nash are with the FBI! And the five of them have been recruited to solve the murder of Lily Carpenter. Even though Patricia and Nash lied to them and changed them, they are happy to be part of something, and to have a purpose.
These five loners become a group, whose special skills help them in solving crimes, and so much more. 
My Thoughts: Thank you to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for letting me review an e-arc. Even though I received this book for free to review, all thoughts, opinions, and reviews are honest and my own.
This was great! I was hooked from the first page. I loved the concept of it. I love anything with powers, friendships, murders, and crime solving. This book was just fun for me.
It was kind of a mash-up of Criminal Minds, with a pinch of X-Men, and the fun of Scooby-Doo. It just really worked for me all around.
I enjoyed all the characters. Each one was different from the other, and each one had a special place in the group. I also loved how they acted like immature teens from time to time. They weren't written as little adults in teen bodies, they felt realistic.
I found Andrew to be the most annoying of the bunch, but I still liked him. His hypochondriac status before the serum was extreme, as well as a little amusing. To all those people that really suffer from that, sorry, I wish you didn't. When Andrew got his super brain, he was still annoying, but likable. Always bragging about his super brain. He reminded me a lot of Spencer from Criminal Minds.
Z was the hardest character for me to pin down. 
I liked Sabrina's character, but I can't say I was the biggest fan of her romance. I don't know why I didn't love it, it just didn't do anything for me.
Justin and Gabby were great too! I think their issues were well thought out and felt real. And I absolutely loved their little romance! It was so sweet and adorable.
I love super-power anything, so I really enjoyed them getting their powers and learning how to use them. I'm glad each power was unique and different. Powers are just so fun!!
My favorite part of this book was the friendship this group formed. It was kind of heartwarming. And it didn't feel rushed, it felt like a natural thing.
I found the whole case really interesting too. I had no idea how it was going to go or how everything was going to turn out. The twists and turns were great! I had to keep on reading to see how everything would end.
I just thought this book was a really fun ride. It kept me hooked. I loved this little group of Lost Causes, and I want to see what happens to them next. I want more books in this series! This one did end on a cliffhanger, so I really hope we get to learn what happens next. Thanks again to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for letting me review an e-arc. I definitely recommend picking this one up when it comes out.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4.2/5
So Addicting and Fun!

Monday, September 4, 2017

August 2017 Wrap-Up!

Here's all the books I read in August! I feel like I had a pretty good month. I read two review books, which I'm pretty proud of. I've been trying to do better with reading my review and NetGalley books, because as a blogger, I feel like I'm supposed to be better at that haha. I watched some TV this month too, as always. I'm thinking about bringing back my Movie/TV Series Reviews because I kind of miss doing them. Would anyone be interested in those posts? Let me know.

BOOKS READ IN AUGUST

  
  

-- The Lost Causes by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz-- NetGalley Review Book -- RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 -- 4.2/5 -- This was my favorite book of the month! I loved it and definitely recommend getting it for yourself. My review for it will be up tomorrow. I just loved the friendship in this, I loved the special abilities aspect, and I really enjoyed the mystery of it all. As far as I know, this is a standalone, but I want it to be a series so badly. I just had a lot of fun while reading this one and am so glad I got to discover it and read an early copy through NetGalley.

-- Doubt, Volume 2 (Doubt #3-4) by Yoshiki Tonogai -- Library Book -- 4/5 -- This was a fun manga horror. I didn't expect the ending at all, but I kind of had an early inkling of who the baddie was. I'm going to read more from Yoshiki Tonogai, because I did enjoy this series.

-- Breaker by Kat Ellis -- Library Book -- 3.7/5 -- This read was decent, I liked it well enough. It is a mystery/thriller about a boy who is the son of a serial killer. He goes to a new school and finds himself in the same class as the daughter of his father's last victim. Again, I figured out the baddie before the end of the book. I also thought more could have been done with some of the side characters, because they interested me, and it felt like whatever story they could have had was cut short. I had questions about some of the side characters, that's what I mean. But I enjoyed this. I'm going to read more by Kat Ellis.

-- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart -- Library Book -- 3/5 -- I don't think you can be on any type of book social media: booktube, blogs, goodreads, bookstagram, and not be at least somewhat aware of this book. This book has so much hype surrounding it. So many people that say it's fantastic. I am sad to say that I wasn't impressed by this. I can see why people liked this. It's written in a very lyrical, mysterious way that can draw you in. I just found this overhyped. I figured out the ending, I thought it was fairly obvious, so I wasn't shocked by that. I also didn't really sympathize with any of these characters. I felt like they did stupid things, and that stupidity led to the ending they got.

-- Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker -- NetGalley and St. Martin's Press Review Book -- RELEASED: AUGUST 8, 2017 -- 3.5/5 -- This was another NetGalley Review Book that I got to read, so thank you St. Martin's Press! It's already out. My review is already posted here. I really do enjoy mystery thrillers, I find them a lot of fun. This one was just an okay read for me. It was a little dull in the way that they unraveled the mystery. I understand why it was told that way, but it wasn't the most exciting thing to read. I was surprised by the twists and turns this took. I'm interested in reading more by Wendy Walker. 
And I just want to say, I love getting the chance to read books early and share my reviews. It's awesome, and I hope I get to continue to do it. My ultimate dream is to be one of those people who gets physical arcs mailed to me, that would be the best!

-- Chew, Vol. 10: Blood Puddin' (Chew #46-50) by John Layman and Rob Guillory -- Library Book -- 4/5 -- Chew is my FAVORITE FAVORITE comic series at the moment. I love it! and find it to be so much fun. This Volume wasn't my favorite of the series that I've read so far, but it's Chew, so I still love it. Tony was very angry in this Volume. This Volume also contained the much anticipated battle with The Collector, and that battle just felt too short considering all the build up. Can't wait to read the next Volume though! I don't have many more Volumes left, which makes me sad.

-- Daughter of the Pirate King (#1) by Tricia Levenseller -- Library Book -- 3.7/5 -- I was really excited to read this one because I LOVE PIRATES!! The character in this had been compared to Captain Jack Sparrow, which is one of my favorite fictional pirates! But... I wasn't blown away by this book. I don't feel like a lot happened in it, in the grand scheme of things. I wasn't completely onboard with the romance, especially the quick(ish) way it started. I also wasn't the biggest fan of Alosa, like I didn't fall for her. She was nothing even remotely close to Captain Jack Sparrow. I also felt like this book toed this weird line between being a light hearted Pirate adventure and then switching to the dark side. I'm going to read the sequel, because I am interested to see what happens. I know I said Alosa wasn't my favorite character, but she does seem to have an interesting backstory, which I want to learn more about.

That's everything I read in August. I don't think I did too bad a job. I'm happy I read two review books. I'm going to continue to try knocking my review books out. The only way that I think I'll be able to completely keep up with my review books is if I get my library book addiction under control, which has a very, very slim, pretty much nonexistent chance of ever happening. I feel like I mostly enjoyed all the books I read in August too! There was only really one that disappointed me.

TV SHOWS/MOVIES WATCHED IN AUGUST

 
  

As I said earlier, I'm thinking of bringing back my movie/tv show reviews. And if I do manage to stick to that goal, I want to write reviews for all these things that I watched in August. I don't know if you guys would be interested in that. Let me know if you would. But if I really feel like doing it, I'll just do it.

-- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me -- Rented from Library -- I was bad and never wrote up my July 2017 Wrap-Up, but I'm going to try to put that up at a later date. But in July, I binge-watched Twin Peaks Seasons 1 and 2, and I really enjoyed it. It was weird, funny, and just an experience to watch. I'm really excited to eventually watch Twin Peaks: The Return. I think it's so cool that they brought it back 25 years later!
Anyway, after I finished the Series on Netflix, I wanted to watch all things Twin Peaks so I could be ready for The Return, whenever I do watch it. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is supposed to be a prequel to Twin Peaks chronicling Laura's last days.
I did not like this movie. It just felt like David Lynch was given free rein, and he took everything too far. Most of the characters I really liked in the TV Series weren't in this, they had filmed scenes for it, but they had all been cut. None of the lighthearted humor from the show was included, which was one of my favorite parts. This whole thing was just dark and weird and not that fun to watch. It wasn't a pleasant experience. 

-- The Twilight Zone TV Series -- All the episodes that were on Netflix -- I've been watching this on Netflix for a couple months and finally finished it. I love The Twilight Zone. I thought it was really fun watching all the old episodes. There were some episodes that were just okay, but most of them were a lot of fun.

-- The Defenders -- Netflix -- So Fun! I really enjoyed this highly anticipated Netflix series. I can't wait for the next season, but I know it will be a long time before it comes out. I was familiar with almost everyone's story before watching this, I just have to go back now and watch Seasons 1 and 2 of Daredevil. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are probably my favorites, but Daredevil is edging his way in there too. This was just really fun. I love it.

-- Firefly -- Rented from Library -- WHY DIDN'T I WATCH THIS SOONER!?!?! I loved this. I now feel the pain of all the original fans, after it got unfairly canceled. This was great! It's a Sci-Fi/Western Mash-Up. It has the best crew. And it's just a whole lot of fun. I'm mad that this only got 1 Season. FOX Network, you messed up, you messed up baaaad. LOVED THIS!

And that was my August 2017! How was yours?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Reading Right Now! (130)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...


-- Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel -- I signed myself up for a blog tour for this, so I'm obligated to read it. Don't take that the wrong way, I was planning on reading it anyway because it looks good. My Blog Stop tour will be September 21, 2017, and it will be a review post. This book comes out September 5, 2017, so thank you to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-arc to read. 
My thoughts so far... I LIKE IT! It's very addicting and I need to know what's going on and what's going to happen next. I like the writing. I'm hoping that I continue to enjoy it, because right now it's solidly in that 4 star range.
I can't even really explain what this is about, because I don't know. What I'll say is that this girl Angie gets a new, hot next door neighbor, but things are weird about him. Since he's shown up, weird things have started happening. That's all I've got for you.

I think my next read will be...


-- The Siren Chronicles: Book 1 by Douglas J. Sloan -- I was offered a chance to be on a blog tour for this one was well. I'm not for sure if I'm on it or not, but I need to read it anyway. It's another e-arc that I have from NetGalley. I was mainly drawn to this one because of the cover and the fact that it's about Sirens. I was intrigued. I don't know what it's about, but I hope to finish it as well. It's only 197 pages, so it should be doable. This book is also already out.

So that's my Reading Right Now! plans. What are you Reading?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review: Y: The Last Man, Volume 8: Kimono Dragons by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Sudzuka, and Jose Marzan, Jr.


Title: Y: The Last Man, Volume 8: Kimono Dragons
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Pencillers: Pia Guerra and Goran Sudzuka
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Published by: DC Comics
Released: 2006
Source: Library

Summary: Welcome to Japan! Yorick and Agent 355 are on the trail of a monkey who's the key to saving the world. Unfortunately, Ampersand is in the hands of a very powerful person, and it might take more to save him then first thought.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mann decides to take a stroll down memory lane. And an old villain returns (?) Just another day for Yorick and the crew.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this volume, but it wasn't my favorite. My favorite parts of it had to be Yorick and Agent 355 being together and sharing stuff. I like them as a duo.
I wasn't really the biggest fan of getting Dr. Mann and Israeli Crazy Chick's backstories. Maybe because I just don't like those characters very much. I just don't enjoy the time I spend with them. I've never really liked Dr. Mann though, so that's no real surprise.
I also don't think a whole lot happened in this Volume. It was nice filler, I enjoyed reading it.
I'm getting closer to the end of Y:The Last Man, and I'm excited to see how everything ends! This is definitely a comic series that I enjoy. Yorick is fun and Agent 355 is awesome!
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.5/5
Not bad.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Review: Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker


Title: Emma In the Night
Author: Wendy Walker
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Released: August 8, 2017
Source: Review Copy via NetGalley and St. Martin's Press

Summary: Two sisters go missing. A car is discovered at the beach, shoes left in the sand. The car belongs to the older sister Emma. Did she drown herself in the ocean? Was she taken? Where's her younger sister Cass?
Three years later, Cass returns to her mother's house, but not Emma. Cass has a story to tell, a sister to save, and secrets to expose.
My Thoughts: I want to thank St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an e-arc to review. I'm always really grateful to read and review books early. This is going to be an honest review, like all of my reviews are, and all opinions are my own.
I'm just kind of meh about this book. I really enjoy mysteries and thrillers, and I really enjoyed the idea for this one. If I had to describe my feelings for this book in a couple words, they would be interesting, but dull.
Emma In the Night is very much a tell instead of a show. It's pretty much just Cass telling her story and experience in order to find her sister. All that telling made it a little dull. It definitely is not the most exciting mystery thriller I've ever read.
The story switches perspectives between the characters of Cass and a psychologist/therapist who works for the police named Dr. Winter. Neither character was a very exciting voice to follow.
Cass definitely gives that feeling of an unreliable narrator. What she's telling everyone is constantly referred to as a story, which made me question just what to believe.
Dr. Winter is kind of consumed by this case, mainly because of one aspect. She believes that Cass and Emma's mother suffers from a severe narcissistic personality disorder. Dr. Winter has a lot of bias in this assessment, because she believed her mother suffered from the same thing. I don't think Dr. Winter was able to separate her past from the case.
I thought the Narcissistic Personality Syndrome was interesting, but I do feel I got hit over the head with it. It seemed to be always mentioned, always brought up. I must have read the word Narcissistic at least 50 times. 
I will applaud this for its twists and turns. I wasn't expecting how things were going to go, how it all was going to end. It did a great job with that.
I thought this book was okay. I enjoyed the mystery of it and not knowing who or what to trust. I wish it had done more showing and less telling, although, maybe the story Wendy Walker was trying to tell wouldn't have worked out like that. I did find parts of it a little dull. I'm interested in reading more from Wendy Walker, I think she can tell a good mystery. Thank you again St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for letting me read and review this!
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.5/5
Interesting, but a little Dull.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Reading Right Now! (129)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...
Or I should say that my Reading Right Now! Plans for this Weekend Are...
Honesty is always the best policy... right? haha

 

and maybe...


As you can see, I'm always indecisive. I like a mix of books, even though, in reality I'll probably only get to one of these haha.

-- Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller -- I've had my eye on this one for awhile, ever since I saw it as a selection for an Owlcrate Box. My main reason for wanting to read this is PIRATES!!! I love Pirates! I've heard it's like a lady Jack Sparrow, and that's the draw right there. I love Captain Jack Sparrow. I could watch movie after movie and I would be happy. I've already started this one, read the first chapter, and I enjoyed what I read so far.

-- Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast -- This is a review book through NetGalley that I really, really, really want to get to. It comes out August 26th, 2017, I think. I fell in love with the cover mainly, and it sounds like a sci-fi kind of thing, which I really do enjoy. I've been trying to get better with my NetGalley books.

-- Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel -- This one I need to read because it is a NetGalley book and I'm on a blog tour for it! This one comes out September 5th, 2017. My blog tour date is September 21 and it's going to be a review. In a perfect world, I'd read this and have it done by September 5th, but I'm realistic and know that probably won't happen. What I know about this is Harbinger of Death! And the reviews that I've seen on GoodReads so far have been pretty good.

So that's my Reading Right Now! plans. What are you reading?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review: Lies I Told (Lies I Told #1) by Michelle Zink


Title: Lies I Told (Lies I Told #1)
Author: Michelle Zink
Published by: Harper Teen
Released: 2015
Source: Library

Summary: To anyone else, Grace's family looks normal. A mother, a father, a brother, and a sister. They show up in town, they have money and good clothes, but they also have a secret.
Grace and her family are con artists, grifters. She and her brother Parker were adopted by Cormac and Renee to play out the best cons. The family scopes out their victims, gets close to them, steals their valuables, and then moves on to another place.
Playa Hermosa is the place of the next job, and it's a big one. Grace's job is to get close to Logan Fairchild and his friends. Grace is having more trouble with this con though, her conscience is starting to bug her, and she's developing feelings for her mark. Is Grace destined to lead a life of crime or can she be something else?
My Thoughts: Not bad, not bad. I love stories about criminals, heists, and questionable characters. I love reading about characters who are doing wrong things, but I end up rooting for them anyway. I just find stories like this to be a lot of fun.
I did have a weird reading journey with Lies I Told. I was reading it during the holiday season, and was just reading it very slowly. There was nothing wrong with the book, I just don't think I was in the reading mood at the time. That slumpiness probably had an effect on my enjoyment and reading, but I managed to get over my slumpiness eventually, and devoured the rest of the book.
I just found the whole concept very interesting. It kind of had the slight feel of the TV show Revenge and the TV show Leverage.
I found the parents kind of despicable most of the time, because they only adopted these kids to further their cons. That's just not right. I also appreciated Grace's struggle with the life she's been brought into. She doesn't want to be bad, but she feels this gratefulness for her adoptive parents. She also knows what she's doing is wrong, but she still does it. It's an interesting conundrum. 
The story really hit its high point for me in the middle. The action started to pick up and I had to race to the end to see what would happen. And what an ending! What's going to happen next? I must know.
I enjoyed this book. If you like stories about cons and criminals, then I would definitely recommend it. I will be checking out the sequel ASAP.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.8/5
What A Heist!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books From Before You Joined Bookish Social Media

I'm finally posting another Top 5 Wednesday! Sometimes I don't post because I'm lazy, sometimes I don't post because I can't really think of books for the topic. I liked this week's topic though. This week is the Top 5 Books From Before You Joined Bookish Social Media! That's kind of a cool topic to think of. Booktube/Blogs/Bookstagram/GoodReads have introduced me to a lot lot lot of books, but before I joined those, I was most definitely a reader. So I tried to think back to books I read and loved before I even knew what Bookish Social Media was. Here's the books I came up with!

 
  

-- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling -- I really don't remember exactly how old I was when I read this, but it was definitely before the bookish social medias. I would imagine this is on a lot of peoples' lists, especially people that are around the same age as me.

-- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer -- I like to be a little bit of a hipster about this one, because I read it before it was super popular. I saw it on an end cap at Barnes and Noble, picked it up, and was hooked! I really like Twilight. I really need to reread it. I get tired of hearing all the hate people say about it. They act like it's the worst book ever, which just annoys me, especially from people who claimed to like it at one time. That is a rant for another time though. 

-- The Hero's Guide To Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy -- I want to say this series was at that point right before I joined some of the bookish social medias. I saw this on my library's new book shelf, picked it up, and was hooked. I think this series needs more love definitely! I love it so much. I want Christopher Healy to come out with a new book!!

-- The Merchant of Death (Bobby Pendragon series) by D.J. MacHale-- I remember this one from seventh grade. My friend bought it from a Scholastic Book Fair for her sister, and I ended up reading a couple of chapters. I think I ended up buying my own copy because I liked it so much. I finished the whole series, which I think is an accomplishment, because it's kind of long. I really like this series. I probably need to reread this one too.

-- Arteimis Fowl by Eoin Colfer -- I'm pretty sure this one came from a Scholastic Book Fair too. I was drawn in by the cover, it was pretty and gold. I really like this series too. I haven't finished it yet and I need to. I like Artemis Fowl because he's kind of an anti-hero. He starts off the series as not a good guy, I mean, he had that whole plan to steal a fairy! 

So those are my picks. What are yours? What books did you discover and love without the help of bookish social media? If you want to join in on the Top 5 Wednesday fun, you totally should! Each Wednesday is a fun, new topic to contemplate and post about. Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers HERE!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

#TheReadingQuest Progress Post #1

Here's my current progress for #TheReadingQuest
A sad, sad fact about me is that I'm not too skilled at doing readathons. I see them floating around, I get really excited about doing them, but in the end, I just don't end up reading a ton of books during them. I think it's just because of how I read. There was a time when I considered myself to be a fast reader. I felt I was knocking out books left and right. Since joining booktube, bookstagram, goodreads, and starting this blog, I've discovered that the one skill I thought I had, I'm not a champion of. Oh well.

So far, I have finished one book for my Rogue Quest. I have ideas about what to read for the other Quests, but I haven't started them yet. The book I finished was...


Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
242 Pages
Challenge/Quest: A Book Cover With A Partially Obscured Face

Hooray for me! I'm planning on posting a full review for this book, but I can say that I was underwhelmed by this. The hype let me down.

Now for my updated HP and EXP, if I've done this right.

ROGUE ASHLEY
20 EXP
35. 2 HP

Are you participating in #TheReadingQuest ? If you are, how are you doing?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch


Title: Love & Gelato
Author: Jenna Evans Welch
Published by: Simon Pulse
Released: May 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Her mother's dying wish was for Lina to go live in Italy. Lina is staying with a father she's never met named Howard, and she isn't sure how she feels about it. Her mother also mailed a journal to Italy, chronicling her time there, and the magic she experienced.
The journal holds many mysteries for Lina, along with a lot of sadness. Lina decides to explore Italy with her mother's journal as a reference, with the help of a cute guy named Ren. Lina discovers more about her mother's life than she ever could've imagined, and maybe, just maybe, Italy might hold some magic for Lina as well.
The journey to truth and acceptance contains friendship, copious amounts of gelato, exploring Italy, and love.
My Thoughts: What a cute, fun read! This is the perfect book to escape into. It is a super fast read. I would find myself sitting down to read a couple pages, and reading 40 to 50 pages in no time flat. I got lost in the story, which is the mark of a good story!
I loved the descriptions of Italy, it made me want to visit there. It made it seem so beautiful and magical. I'm also now craving gelato, because it sounds delicious.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Ren and Lina. Their friendship that blossomed into something more was really sweet to watch. Ren was also a really supportive friend for Lina as she struggles with the loss of her mother. I wish that Ren hadn't had a girlfriend, because that just became a weird, unwanted complication. I don't think Mimi was needed.
I also really enjoyed the mystery of the journal. How Lina got to experience a younger version of her mom, who led her on quite a mystery. The journal just added a very interesting element to the story.
I will say, I don't like reading sad books. I don't like being sad, or thinking about losing a family member. I'm glad to say, this was a mostly happy, cute book, but I couldn't imagine, and do not want to imagine, Lina's pain of losing her mom. That part was sad. It just makes me appreciate how lucky I am to have my family and health.
I did notice a couple typos/editing mistakes while reading. I'm not a grammar enthusiast, but the mistakes did halt the flow.
This book was so much fun and a great debut! I really, really liked it. I will look out for Jenna Evans Welch's next book. If you want a cute, fun read, then I would say definitely pick this up!
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
Oh What Fun!