Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Around The Year In 52 Books: Week 38

WEEK 38:
A NOVEL INSPIRED BY A WORLD OF CLASSIC LITERATURE


PROGRESS POST

What are you reading this week? I'm reading Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1) by Rosamund Hodge.

What classic inspired this book? This book was inspired, or at least takes aspects from Shakespeare's classic Romeo and Juliet.

Have you read that classic? Did you purposely choose a book inspired by a classic you've already read? I might have read parts of Romeo and Juliet in high school. No, I picked up Bright Smoke, Cold Fire because I was interested in reading it, and then looked to see if it would fit any of the Around the Year challenge prompts.

Did you think your choice was a good reinvention/representation of that classic? I guess it was good enough. I don't remember a lot from Romeo and Juliet. In all honesty, I'm not really a fan of Shakespeare. I found most of his plays confusing in high school, and it probably didn't help that I had to read them for assignments. Whenever I'm forced to read something, it's always a struggle, and I rarely end up liking it. 
I guess what this book incorporated is the two young lovers from families that hate each other, and how their story is kind of doomed from the start. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire took those elements and made something interesting and imaginative.

So that's what I'm reading for this week, what about you? Check out the challenge here!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Lark Ascending (Skylark #3) by Meagan Spooner


Title: Lark Ascending (Skylark #3)
Author: Meagan Spooner
Published by: Carolrhoda Lab
Released: 2014
Source: Library

Summary: Lark has to go back to where it all started to save everyone she loves. The City she comes back to is very different than the one she left. Lark is ready to face the Institute, the people that lied to her, tortured her, changed her. Lark is ready to make her last stand.
My Thoughts: I thought this was a pretty good ending to this series. This series has never been an absolute favorite of mine, but it has been one that interested and stuck with me. Meagan Spooner is the co-author of the These Broken Stars Trilogy, and after reading this series, I can definitely see where her influence comes in. She is really good at writing hard, dangerous treks and journeys. She is also really good at developing really believable and satisfying relationships.
Through all three books, I don't feel like I ever really understood the world. Why it was the way it was. How it could (maybe) be fixed. It was just too confusing for me to get. I would have liked for things to be explained better.
In this finale, I got kind of tired of Lark's hero-complex thing. She almost seemed disappointed, and jealous, when everyone didn't fawn over her as savior. Her attitude got a little annoying.
My favorite part of this series has been Oren. I love how his character has grown, how I could always feel his struggle. He's also been the best for supporting and standing by Lark.
As a finale, this book was just okay. I didn't find it to be the most memorable overall. This series, while I didn't love it, has been interesting and stuck with me. My favorite parts have been the post-apocalyptic feel, and Oren. I'd say it's interesting enough to deserve a read.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.2/5
Decent enough

Friday, April 21, 2017

Reading Right Now! (112)

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


-- Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1) by Rosamund Hodge-- hmmm...


uhhh...


I don't really get it. It's supposed to be a Romeo and Juliet meets Sabriel kind of thing. Now, I'll admit that I've never read Sabriel and I've never really been into Shakespeare, but generally, I like re-imaginings of things. I just don't really understand what's going on in this. 
I'm about 25% through, and since I don't believe in DNF'ing books, I will read the rest of this. It's not awful, it's just a mediocre, confusing thing.
The biggest problem I'm having is that I really don't get the world, at all. It's like this weird magic, fantasy thing, mixed with this post-apocalyptic dead people coming back to life thing, and this deadly veil thing that kills everything, except this city guarded by magic. The weird fantasy magic thing is what's getting the most play though. 
We've been given these two character perspectives, and it's like I haven't even been properly introduced to them, they've just popped out of nowhere. There's all these weird names being thrown about, two different races of people that I'm having a hard time keeping track of, and I just don't really get it. 
I think I might have started out with the wrong Rosamund Hodge book/series. What is this? I'm so confused.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading? Have you read this book? If you have, what did you think of it.

book cover image from www.goodreads.com and gif images found through google image search

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Around The Year In 52 Books: Week 2

WEEK 2:
A BOOK WITH AT LEAST 2 PERSPECTIVES
(multiple points of view)


PROGRESS POST:

--What are you reading this week? I'm reading The New Hunger (Warm Bodies #1.5) by Isaac Marion. I'm really enjoying it too! It has three characters' stories that we're following.

--What do you prefer the best: a 1st person point of view, a third person point of view, or multiple points of view? I think my favorite point of view to read in is third person point of view. It just seems to make the story flow better for me.

--Is there a point of view that is easier for you to connect with (gender, country, age, etc)? Not really. When I read a book, I'm experiencing someone else's story, so I'm not picky on how old they are, whether they're male or female, or where they live. I think it would be a little boring to read characters that were all just like me.

Want to join in on the challenge? Check out the group here!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Review: iZombie, Volume 1: Dead To The World by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred


Title: iZombie, Volume 1: Dead To The World
Written by: Chris Roberson
Art by: Michael Allred
Letters by: Todd Klein
Published by: DC Comics
Released: 2011
Source: Library

Summary: Gwen is a zombie. Not a kill everyone, slobbering mess zombie though. She is able to keep her humanity, and flesh eating urges at bay, as long as she is able to feast on a brain once in awhile. She works as a gravedigger, which means she's got good access to relatively fresh brains. Every time she eats a brain, she is flooded with images of that person's life. The most recent brain she eats is from someone who died unnaturally, someone who might have been murdered. Gwen must solve the crime with the help of her friends, a ghost and were-terrier respectively, while also hiding the fact that she's the living dead.
My Thoughts: This was all right. It wasn't really anything like the show, which I was okay with. I don't really watch the CW show. I'm still bitter that it took the time slot of my beloved, and canceled, Hart of Dixie.
I don't feel like this was a first volume that really explained everything, or gave good background. It kind of felt like I jumped in to the middle of an ongoing thing.
I liked the art. It had a lot of color and was just fun to look at. It really reminded me of that Scooby Doo style/vibe.
I wouldn't say no to continuing with this series. I liked it well enough, and it had a fun feel to it.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.5/5
Not Bad.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Reading Right Now! (111)

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


Still this...

--Like A River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson-- I'm really close to being done with this one, but I'm kind of mixed about it. I was really into it in the beginning, but as I've gotten farther, Leah's character has started to annoy me more. This book also has a very preachy, lecture vibe to it that I'm not really liking. I feel like people (or at least me) read historical fiction to enter a romanticized version of the past. They (I) want to enjoy reading it, and not be reminded every second page how evil white people are. I know that many bad things happened in the past, and it's visibly apparent looking back on history, but during that time, they lived a different way. I just don't feel like Leah or Lee (whatever) is feeling like an authentic, real character. I don't know. I'll get into everything more when I post my review, but these are just my feelings at the moment. 
There's also this weird vibe going on between Lee and her Uncle, which almost feels a little gross, so that's also messing with my mind.
I feel like I've just really slooooowed down with reading this one. It hasn't put me in a slump, but I'm just not as excited to pick it up as I first was. I mean, the writing is still really good. It's just that Leah is a pain and I don't like being preached at.

When I finally finish that, I think I'm going to give myself the options of:

 

And maybe even try to do that two books at one time kind of thing.

--The New Hunger (Warm Bodies #1.5) by Isaac Marion-- ZOMBIES!!! Also, a great way to get myself ready for the sequel, which just came out not that long ago.

--Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1) by Rosamund Hodge-- I really want to read a book by Rosamund Hodge, because I've heard good things about her.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! and my reading plans for the coming weekend. What are you reading? And tell me if I'm crazy about Like a River Glorious. Do you like romanticized versions of the past when reading historical fiction? Or do you want to hear all the nitty gritty stuff?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Around The World In 52 Books: Week 5

AROUND THE WORLD IN 52 BOOKS
WEEK 5:
A HISTORICAL FICTION



--What are you reading for this category? I'm reading Like a River Glorious, the sequel to Walk on Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson.

--In which time period is this book going to take you? This book takes place during the California Gold Rush of 1849. It covers things like wagon trains, a little cowboy action, and the fever that infected many people hoping to make it rich in California. Not a literal fever, but a figurative one.

--Is there another period you'd like to read about? I enjoy historical fiction, so I'm always up for reading it. I don't know if I have a favorite period to read about. As long as it's interesting, I'll read it.

Want to participate in the challenge? Check it out here!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: City of Stairs (The Divine Cities #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett


Title: City of Stairs (The Divine Cities #1)
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Published by: Broadway Books
Released: 2014
Source: Library

Summary: The gods used to rule the Continent, bestowing miracles and blessings on their followers. The Saypuri People didn't have the blessings, or anyone to save them from enslavement. One Saypuri decided to murder the gods, made himself a god killing weapon, and attacked. When the gods died, the cities and people they blessed did too. Plague spread across the land, and whole chunks of the city disappeared.
The Saypuri's have become the new ruling class. Bulikov, a city once blessed by the divine, is now cold and poor. The people are not allowed to speak the names of the former gods or know their symbols.
When a Saypuri scholar and historian is murdered, Shara and her secretary, Sigurd, are sent to solve the case. They find much more than they bargained for.
My Thoughts: This was an interesting read for me. I can't say I loved it, but I didn't hate it either. Adult Fantasy is kind of out of my comfort zone. I want to read more of it, but it's intimidating. This had a world that was a little hard for me to get in to. A lot of focus on religion, a lot of gods thrown into the mix. 
It probably took me about 70 to 80 pages to really find my footing and get interested, and invested, in the story. Once I was into it, I liked it okay. There was enough action to keep me intrigued. Shara was an alright character. I liked her and Sigrud? Sigurd's? relationship.
It was a bit of a slower paced book. It had a lot of meat in it, a lot of words. A lot of the names were a bit difficult for me.
Overall, I thought this was okay. I enjoyed myself while reading it. It wasn't necessarily a book that made me crave fantasy though. It took quite awhile to get into. I don't know if I want to read the next book in the series. It would be interesting to see more of Shara and Sigrud's adventures, but I don't know if I like the world that much to invest in another story. I'm on the fence.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3/5
It was all right, not my most favorite.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Reading Right Now! (110)

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


-- Like A River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson-- I'm excited to be continuing on with this series. I read the first one, maybe a year or so ago, and really enjoyed it. It's a historical fiction series, about the California Gold Rush, with a girl who has the power to sense gold. This power causes danger for her and those she loves.
I've read about the first 30 pages and am enjoying it so far. I hope to zoom through it.

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

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Review: Revival, Volume 1: You're Among Friends by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton


Title: Revival, Volume 1: You're Among Friends
Story by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Mike Norton
Colors by: Mark Englert
Published by: Image Comics, Inc.
Released: 2013
Source: Library

Summary: One small town has been rocked by mystery. The newly dead have come back to life. They aren't ravenous or brain eating, but are the same people they were when they left. Is it a miracle? A horror? A sign of the apocalypse? Nobody really knows, but the town has been quarantined. One police officer is put on the case to try and figure out what's going on. There's something off about these newly returned.
My Thoughts: hmmm... interesting, definitely. This was a fun comic to read. It had a lot of mysterious elements that just made for a fun story. I'm not sure what's really going on in this town. Things are definitely messed up.
This first Volume just really serves as an introduction to the series. I'm intrigued to see where it goes next. 
The artwork was pretty good, I liked it.
I would recommend this. The story is interesting, and I want to see where it goes next.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.7/5
Miracle or Horror? Oh the questions.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 SFF Books On Your TBR

Welcome, Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday! The most fun thing to do on a Wednesday, really. This week's topic is the Top 5 SFF (Science Fiction and Fantasy) Books On Your TBR. Let's do this!

 
  

-- Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff-- Meant to read this sooner, obviously didn't, so I hope to get to it soon. I won't say I was blown away by the first book, I felt the way the story was told got a little repetitive and boring-ish at times, but I still want to know what happens with the series.

--Across the Universe by Beth Revis, but really the whole series if I'm being honest-- They are just so pretty, except for the last book and it's baaaad cover change. I've also just heard so much good stuff about them. I really like space books, so hopefully these will be fun and I will read them.

--These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, but again, really the whole series-- I would like to reread the first book and then finish the series. I really liked the first one when I read it. And again, the covers are just sooo pretty.

--A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, again, the whole series-- I've only read one book by V.E. Schwab, Vicious, and LOVED IT! She became like a favorite author, but then I haven't read anything else by her, and I don't know why. So I would love to get to this series.

--The Warrior Heir or really anything by Cinda Williams Chima-- I've been hearing about this author for ages, and I would just like to see if her work would be something I'd enjoy. I'd like to start at the beginning, just because. I hope to read her stuff and like it.

So that's my Top 5 Wednesday! If you want to participate, you totally should. Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers HERE!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Around The Year In 52 Books: Week 31

WEEK 31:
A BOOK FROM A SUB-GENRE OF YOUR FAVORITE GENRE

PROGRESS POST:


What are you reading this week? I'm reading The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology written by various authors and edited by Christopher Golden.



What is your favorite genre? I'd say my favorite genre is post-apocalyptic/survival stories.

What is the sub-genre your book falls into? The New Dead falls into the zombie version of a post-apocalyptic story.

Do you have a favorite sub-genre or read mostly one sub-genre of your favorite genre? I do like zombie stories, but I don't think I favor them more over other post-apocalyptic books. If it's post-apocalyptic and sounds good, I'm going to want to read it.

So that's this week's progress post. Are you participating in the challenge? It's fun, and you should. Check out the group  HERE!

Monday, April 3, 2017

March Wrap-Up 2017!

I had a pretty good reading month in March. I read 8 books, and I'm still ahead on my GoodReads Reading Challenge, Yayy! So, I'm going to talk about what I read and what I watched (and finished watching) in the month of March.

What I Read in March!

  
  
 

-- Arata: The Legend, Volume 4 by Yuu Watase-- 3.3/5-- This is just an okay manga to me. Yuu Watase is one of my favorite manga artists/authors, but this isn't my favorite series by her. It's all right, and I will continue on with it.

--The Natural Superiority of the Left-Hander by James T. deKay-- 4/5-- This was more of a random/fun read. It called to me. I'm left-handed, and am very proud of my left-handed status. I love hearing left-handed facts. We are the true minority. Only 10% to 11% of the world's population is left-handed. No one can seem to say definitively what makes a person left-handed. I think it runs in families. Left-handedness is just one of the things I'm weird about, like, I will notice if you are left-handed, and probably comment on it. Plus, I love driving my sister crazy with left-handed facts, because she doesn't care and finds it annoying haha.
This book was pretty fun. It was a super quick read. It's a little dated, but LEFTIES RULE!!

--A Torch Against The Night (#2) by Sabaa Tahir-- 3.7/5-- I'm just kind of meh about this series. They are very fast reads, and I'm interested to see what happens, but I'm just ambivalent toward the characters. Plus I think this world is just too violent in a non-sensical way. I'll continue reading the series, but I just don't get all the hype about it.

--Dark Matter by Blake Crouch-- 4/5-- This one was good, real good! Very enjoyable reading. I'd definitely recommend. I do think the ending got a little complicated with all the "villains" running around. This would make a really exciting movie.

--Chew, Volume 7: Bad Apples (Chew #31-35) by John Layman and Rob Guillory-- 4.2/5-- I love this series!! Some people complained about this Volume being a little too dark, but I liked it. Sometimes the storyline isn't the most coherent, but I love this comic. I think the art style is awesome and the story always has me laughing.

--Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon-- 3/5-- This one was kind of disappointing. It was overhyped, and it didn't live up to that hype. The pros are that it's a really fast read and the writing is easy to get into. The cons are that the insta-love was annoying. Maddie made really dumb decisions and didn't think anything through. She was all about living for the now, but I just found her really irresponsible. I don't know how her future is going to go, because she has no way to make money and no real education. The ending was also the biggest cop-out and I wasn't a fan. Maybe YA Contemporary just isn't for me. But, just to put in perspective how bad the insta-love is, the majority of the novel took place in the span of 3 months, and she fit pretty much everything you can do with a guy into those three months.
I was also just kind of annoyed in the very start when she bragged about what a superstar reader she was, and how she read so many more books than I could even hope to dream of. She bragged, while at the same time, putting down the reader. I wasn't a fan. And she read the most boring books. Please Girl. I don't really like Maddie.

--Chew, Volume 8: Family Recipes (Chew #36-48) by John Layman and Rob Guillory-- 4.5/5-- Another volume of Chew that I loved!! It's just so fun to read.

--Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) by William Ritter --3.5/5-- This was another disappointment for me. I LOVED the first two books in the series, and then this one happened. What made the first two books so great is that they were a lot of fun, had a lot of humor, and some quirky characters. This third book just removed all the humor from the story and the characters. Without the humor, it became a blah book. I also didn't like the beginning, where I felt I was thrown into something instead of eased in. And they didn't really solve anything in the end. I'll read the rest of the series, but I hope the fourth book is better. This was just sooo disappointing.

TOTAL PAGES READ: 2,040
NOVELS: 4
GRAPHIC NOVELS/MANGA: 3
RANDOM BOOK THAT DOESN'T REALLY FIT INTO CATEGORY: 1
AVERAGE RATING: 3.8/5

What I Watched In March!

-- The X-Files (Seasons 1-9, Netflix) I FINISHED IT! I FINALLY FINISHED IT!!

I finally finished it, which I count as an accomplishment. I liked it, but I wouldn't categorize it as my favorite show. My favorite episodes were the monster of the week episodes, those were the most fun to me. The government conspiracy/alien episodes were always just meh. As I kept watching into the later seasons, especially 8 and 9, it just wasn't grabbing me the same way. It's all because David Duchovny killed the show. Apparently he was in some kind of disagreement over his contract and how much he thought he should be paid, so he wasn't really in Seasons 8 or 9. He might show up for a couple episodes, but then he'd be gone again. They brought in some new people, but the dynamic of Mulder and Scully wasn't there. I think it's his fault the show got canceled. It wasn't really very fair to his co-stars. They tried to make the show work, but for 7 Seasons we got this thing that the viewer came to expect, and you can't realistically change that in the 8th Season.

--The Iron Fist (Season 1, Netflix)
So, I watched this one too. I'm always really excited about Netflix and Marvel teaming up, and the new shows that come out. I found The Iron Fist to just be kind of boring. I don't think Danny Rand is the most charismatic super hero, which can make him a little dull to watch. 
I don't agree with all the controversy surrounding the casting. How people were mad that they didn't cast an Asian Iron Fist. This show is about Danny Rand, a pre-existing Marvel character, who is white. It would have made no sense to cast an Asian person for that role. I'm getting kind of annoyed about people who complain about everything all the time! This goes for books too. Don't rate a show before you've watched it and Don't rate a book before you've read it. If you're not interested in it fine, but the whole world doesn't care about your opinion.
Anyway, I think my favorite character, or the character I at least felt a little something for was Ward. That could just be because he reminded me of Bellamy Blake's older, skinnier faced brother. And I love Bellamy Blake sooo... But really, tell me what you think. Can you see any resemblance? Or am I just crazy?

WARD MEACHUM

BELLAMY BLAKE 

I mean, Bellamy Blake is so much cuter and I just love him sooo much! But they look like they could be cousins or something, right?


--The 100: Season 4 (Still Watching, but I have to wait until April 26th for new episodes. The horror!!! I hate waiting)


And The 100 Season 4! I've been watching it live, every Wednesday (9 pm e.s.t. on the CW) and I'm liking this season. I think it's a lot better than Season 3, thank goodness! But the thing they have to fight against is a nuclear apocalypse, and that just seems to be a really hard thing to beat. My favorite scenes are all the Bellamy Blake ones. Bob Morley is such a good actor! I could mostly care less about Clarke. I'm kind of getting tired of her in charge, savior routine. Oh and I'm soooo glad that Lexa is gone!!! I'm not, never was, never will be a Lexa fan. I think Season 3 wasn't as good, because they focused too much on her. Although they do try to mention her as much as they can this season. Bleh.


 You know who they never mention? Finn. Clarke's first foray into puppy love/crushdom. Must be because he's a guy. I now have to wait for April 26, which is when they'll start airing new episodes. That wait is going to be tough. But I love The 100. GO WATCH IT!

So that was my March! How was yours? Let me know!
**All book cover images are from www.goodreads.com and all other images procured through google image searches.**