Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich


Title: And The Trees Crept In
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Published by: Little, Brown and Company
Released: September 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Silla and Nori have heard so many family stories of La Baume, the family's manor house hidden deep in the woods. Sent there by their mother, Silla and Nori finally see the manor and meet their Aunt Cath.
At first, life at La Baume is everything good, but then a darkness starts to invade. The woods seem to be coming closer, they aren't able to leave, and they hear the story of the Creeper Man.
Sanctuary becomes Hell. Two sisters must protect each other from the Creeper Man.
My Thoughts: Crreeeeepy!! Super duper creepy. This is the first book I've read by Dawn Kurtagich, and it will NOT be my last. This is what a horror book should be, creepy, disturbing, and unsettling. I give it a round of applause.
I really enjoyed the style of this book. It really added to that crazy, creepy feeling. Silla is such an unreliable narrator. Her crazy feelings become our crazy feelings. The reading experience was just intense and fun for this book.
The atmosphere was also spot-on. Dark, weird, creepy, and scary. This book reminded me of Shutter Island/Japanese horror movies/and The Uninvited by Cat Winters. It was something to behold.
I can't say I was blown away by the ending, just because I had a vague idea about what it was going to be. I've read endings like that before in books, so it didn't shock me as much as it could have.
One after thought, I did wonder and have questions about the outside world, WWIII, and the disease.
This was an experience to read. It delivered highly on the creep factor. Super weird, strange, and atmospheric. This is the perfect Halloween read! Not for the faint of heart. This was a fun read. It did not disappoint and I can't wait to read more from this author.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
Wow! Just Wow.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Reading Right Now! (125)

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


-- Map of Fates (The Conspiracy of Us #2) by Maggie Hall-- This is the second book in The Conspiracy of Us Trilogy, I think. I remember reading the first book and really enjoying it. It's about this girl who discovers that she's part of an all powerful, secret society family. She's also the chosen one, who has been foretold her marriage to The One will fulfill a prophecy. Her mom hid her from The Circle for a number of years, and in the first book, she's just discovering everything.
This sequel picks right up from where the first one left off. It's been awhile since I read the first book, which was probably a mistake for me. It took me a little bit to get into this sequel because I had to try and remember just what was going on and where the first one left off. It's definitely a fun book though. It has this epic scavenger/treasure hunt feel. They are jetting around the globe, looking for clues, and hoping to find the tomb of Alexander the Great.
I will say, I'm in a kind of weird reading mood. I don't know why or what's wrong with me. I know it's not the book, because when I'm reading it, I'm into it. It's just that I don't feel like reading. I get distracted by youtube and instagram when I should be reading. I'm hoping I'll get out of it soon.
This book does have a pretty prevalent love triangle, so if you don't like love triangles, you might not like this one. I will say that Stellan is my choice. He's a hottie.
I've got less than 100 pages left, so I will finish this this weekend. I don't know exactly what I'm going to read next. I've got some review books I should read, some library books that I need to read, so we'll see what happens.

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Ensnared (Splintered #3) by A.G. Howard


Title: Ensnared (Splintered #3)
Author: A.G. Howard
Published by: Amulet Books
Released: 2015
Source: Library

Summary: The epic battle for Wonderland is finally here. Alyssa has to save everyone by defeating the Red Queen. Jeb and Morpheus are stuck in a dangerous world and Alyssa can only hope they are okay. Alyssa must use her wits to outsmart Wonderland, and all of its manipulations, while at the same time embracing it. She must also battle the two sides of her heart pulling her in different directions. The fate of Wonderland rests in her hands.
My Thoughts: Honestly, I don't like this series, really at all. I kept reading because I wanted to give it a chance, the benefit of every doubt. It failed to impress me. It had too many things that annoyed me. I just didn't like it, and I'll share my reasons.
I'll start with the pros first. I think these books are beautifully designed. They look nice, they feel nice, and they all capture that feeling of Wonderland. I also thought the ending had some good moments.
My first complaint is, I felt like a whole lot of nothing happened in this story. It was chunky, and I thought there would be more intense battles for Wonderland. The majority of the story was really slow, not a lot happened. It wasn't the exciting finale I was expecting. In my opinion, the first book, Splintered, was the best of the series.
My second major gripe was the rage inducing love triangle. Too much attention was focused on it, and the resolution was one of the biggest cop outs I've ever read. Highly unsatisfying. This feeling could have a lot to do with how much I despise Morpheus. I think he's slimy, manipulative, and I always expect the worst from him. I don't get his appeal. There are bad boys, and then there are garbage boys. I didn't find anything he did remotely romantic, just annoying. I also felt like Jeb got the raw end of all the deals. He deserved a girl who loved him and only him, not someone who wavered back and forth. This headache inducing love triangle tainted the whole story for me.
I also got annoyed by Alyssa a lot. I don't do well with characters who don't think things through. She was too reckless and stupid for me most of the time, and drunk on her own power.
My last gripe was with the epilogue, I just felt it fell flat. I wanted more details. I wanted to witness more moments. Why is one part focused on, and the other ignored?! I am planning on reading the novella story collection, so maybe that will give me more closure.
I did not enjoy this Wonderland tale. It was too weird, and too annoying. This ending left me lukewarm. Not much happened, and what did tended to annoy me. It felt like key details or scenes were just glossed over or left out. Not my kind of story or series. These opinions are my own and not meant to hurt the feelings of people who love this series. It just wasn't for me.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 2.8/5
Keep this Wonderland far away from me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Around The Year In 52 Books: Week 40

WEEK 40:
A Book Published In 2017


PROGRESS POST:
-- What are you reading this week? I'm reading Geekerella by Ashley Poston (I might have already finished it).

-- Do you prefer reading new releases or older, more established books? I like reading a mixture of both. As a blogger/booktuber/bookstagrammer it's important to read the newer books because they are getting the hype and the advertisement, you have to keep up, but I love reading older books just as much. So I mix up what I read. I read what I want no matter if it's new or old, although review books do take a priority.

-- Are there any other 2017 books you've read/are looking forward to reading? Yes. I've read House of Ash by Hope Cook which comes out September 26, 2017. I'm going to be posting my review closer to the release date, but it was AWESOME!!!! I'm also planning on reading Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast which comes out August 29, 2017.


Check out the challenge here!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Locke and Key, Volume 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez


Title: Locke & Key, Volume 5: Clockworks
Written by: Joe Hill
Art by: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors by: Jay Fotos
Letters by: Robbie Robbins
Published by: IDW Publishing
Released: 2012
Source: Library

Summary: The ultimate battle for the Key House is coming. Dodge is gathering everything he needs right under the nose of the Locke kids. Tyler and Kinsey are still trying to figure out the purpose of the keys. Danger awaits around every corner, and it's up to the Locke kids to protect the keys.
My Thoughts: This was an interesting volume in what it offered, backstory. I enjoyed learning about events before the current Locke children, and witnessing what led to the situation now faced.
I did think this volume before the finale was going to be a little more exciting, have a little more oomph, so it was surprising when it didn't end up going that way.
I also kept expecting the traitor-in-their midst to be revealed, and that didn't happen either. That can only lead me to believe the finale is going to be crazy and intense.
Locke & Key is an interesting graphic novel series that has been fun to read. I'm very interested to see how it all ends, and how the Locke kids get out of this situation alive.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.8/5
The Past Comes To Play

Friday, July 14, 2017

Reading Right Now! (124)

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


-- You Can't Hide (Shadow House #2) by Dan Poblocki -- And I'm almost finished with it. I'm loving it! It's a middle grade horror novel. I just want to say that middle grade is so much fun to read. I don't think that once you hit a certain age, you can only read adult books. Reading Middle Grade and Young Adult doesn't mean you are a childish reader. I don't know if I'm even saying what I want to say right. I get tired of judgmental readers, who essentially judge people for reading books they deem not good enough. People should read what they want to read. I'm going to read what I want to read! Also, I find so many classics booooooring.
Anyway, that really has nothing to do with this book. This book, and really this series, is just a lot of fun to read. I think it delivers on the scary, the creepy, and the gory. It's just a lot of fun. I will say that this sequel picks right up from where the first one left off, so if it's been a little bit since you read The Gathering, you might want to refresh yourself on what happened. The third book isn't out just yet which makes me a little sad.

What I'm Thinking of Reading Next!

 

I would like to read The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and The Call by Peadar O'Guilin but we'll see what happens. I've read two of the Walking Dead Compendiums, but I've forgotten a lot of stuff, and just want to start over. The Call sounds really good and I remember hearing good things about it when it came out. I'll have to read them both fairly quickly though because they are coming up due at the library. NOOOOOO!!! So those are my plans.

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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: Gotham Academy, Volume 2: Calamity by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher


Title: Gotham Academy, Volume 2: Calamity (Issues #7-12)
Written by: Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher
Art by: Karl Kerschl, Mingjue Helen Chen, and Msassyk
Published by: DC Comics
Released: 2016
Source: Library

Summary: Classes are back in session at Gotham Academy! Olive and the gang have new mysteries to solve. Olive is being haunted by some type of specter invoking feelings from her past. There is also a werewolf running around campus that has to be caught. The mysteries get deeper and the stakes become higher in this Second Volume.
My Thoughts: I didn't like this Second Volume as much as I liked the First Volume. The First Volume, I felt, had more of a story to it. This Second Volume had a more episodic format. I was also pretty thrown off when I first started reading Calamity, because it didn't feel like the place I left off in in Welcome To Gotham Academy
I think part of my problem was they brought in new artists for the first (and maybe second) episode. It interrupted the flow for me. The first two episodes were also quite jarring. They seemed random, and a tad confusing.
As Calamity went on, I started to enjoy it more. A true story started to emerge, with a beginning, middle, and to be continued end.
One other thing I struggle with is, I don't know all the mythology and backstory surrounding Batman, Gotham City, and the villains. I wish everything was presented as if to a newbie.
Volume Two of Gotham Academy let me down a little. It wasn't as good as the First Volume. The art is still beautiful and the story is still interesting, so I'm not going to give up on reading it.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.2/5
I'm a little lost here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston


Title: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Published by: Quirk Books
Released: April 4th, 2017
Source: Won from a Goodreads FirstReads Giveaway for Review

Summary: Look to the Stars. Aim. Ignite!
(please forgive my long-winded, and not that great summary. I really had trouble trying to condense what this book was about, while at the same time trying to explain all the things.)
Elle Wittimer is a fangirl for all things Starfield. Her mom and dad met because of that show, so Starfield holds a very special place in her heart. Her dad also started Excelsicon, a convention for all kinds of fandoms.
Now it feels like Starfield is the only thing she has left of her mom and dad, since they both have left her in the hands of an evil stepmother and stepsisters. With her parents dead, Elle is left all alone in the world. Her Stepmother hates her, her Stepsisters are pains. Elle works on a food truck called The Magic Pumpkin and longs to escape.
Elle then finds out they are doing a remake of her beloved Starfield. Elle posts all the news she learns on her blog Rebelgunner. The biggest piece of news comes from the casting of Prince Carmindor, a pretty boy actor, who stars on the teen drama Seaside Cove. Elle is not pleased. Elle decides to enter a cosplay contest in the hopes of winning tickets to the premiere.
Darien Freeman just got the part of Prince Carmindor, and has been flooded with Starfield fan backlash. He must prove to the fans, and himself, that he was meant to be Prince Carmindor.
My Thoughts: This was adorable! It was such a fun read. I won this book in a Goodreads FirstReads Giveaway for Review. My review and opinions are my own, and not in any way influenced by my winning an early copy. I can 100% honestly say that I really enjoyed Geekerella, and I would have enjoyed it just as much if I had bought it or checked it out from the library. But, ENTER THOSE GOODREADS GIVEAWAYS! There is no better feeling than waking up to an email saying you won a book!
Anyway...
This book was super cute. I had such a good time flying through it. It was a no stress, fast-paced, enjoyable read. As a Cinderella inspired story, it works really well. The elements are there, they are recognizable, but they don't feel cheesy.
One of my favorite parts had to be the illustration of fandom life in general. It was so nice getting a book that represented what it's like to be a geek. To understand what it's like to love a world, a show, a book, a franchise so much. I could just really feel the genuine heart of a fangirl in this novel.
This novel was also kind of sad. Thinking back to other Cinderella tales, I always just kind of forget about the dead father, but this story really illustrated Elle's pain. It was sad, the way she missed her father, how alone she was in the world. It made me appreciate having my dad around even more, and wanting him around for a long time to come. What was also sad was the suddenness with which he was gone too. I did wonder how her mom died. I assumed she was ill, but it never came out and told me, which I kind of wanted.
I thought it was interesting including Darien Freeman's story too, and having alternating chapters. It made for a quick story. It also helped flesh out the prince character in this Cinderella Tale. It was also sweet to incorporate the texts between Elle and Darien. I don't know if it was necessary, but it made for a sweet, cute little romance.
I couldn't necessarily pity Darien though, because he's living that movie star life, but I did find his story interesting. I liked how it included scenes where they were making the movie and filming it.
I did feel like there were some weaknesses. Darien's photo leak and the whole Elle/James debacle were made into these really big deals, life altering deals, but they weren't really all that major. With the number of times they were alluded to, I was expecting ultimate betrayal, high stakes, shocking sorts of situations, but they just felt mundane.
I also didn't buy into the good twin/evil twin thing. When I think of identical twins, I think of this real bond that normal people can't understand. They have built in, life long partners, that just understand each other on a level that I can't even begin to comprehend. So, I couldn't really buy into that twin thing. I think it could have worked much better if they were fraternal twins and they played that angle the book went with.
Chloe and Elle's Stepmother were pretty freaking awful. At one point, Chloe became a garbage person to me. The Stepmother, I just had more questions about. She was awful, but why the excessive hate? It just felt like an unhinged lady. And how could she sell Elle's parent's house if it was left to Elle? The level of betrayal there just made me mad.
I really, really liked this book. I thought it was adorable and a lot of fun to read. I would love to know what the future holds for these characters. What happened with Darien and Elle? This was a good time, love letter to fandoms, sweet like candy read. I really enjoyed it, and definitely recommend it!
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
Adorable!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reading Right Now! (123)

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


--Bakuman, Volume 1 by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata-- I just started this one, and am so far intrigued. This is a manga unlike any I've read before. It's about these two boys who team together to create their own manga, become manga artists! It just seems like a very interesting premise, kind of going behind the curtain of what it takes to make the manga I'm now holding in my hand. This manga is from the guys who created Death Note, which is another manga I enjoy.
The most interesting thing about this so far is experiencing another culture. I already knew some stuff about Japan. The importance of education and school especially. This manga has further cemented the amount of pressure Japanese kids face with their education and their future. I don't know if I could handle it. Deciding what you want to do with you life at 14 years old, I'm a whole lot older than that, and still have no idea what my future holds. The amount of pressure to succeed, get good grades, get into a good school, the idea of failure is terrifying. 
It's also really interesting because a manga artist career is considered a gamble with your future, something not worth the risk. I mean, I guess it is kind of a gamble, but why give up on something you are passionate about and good at? It's just interesting thinking about what would have happened if I had been born someplace else, what would my future have been?
Anyway, I think I'll have no problem finishing this this weekend, and then hopefully I can get to something else. Maybe a review book. Maybe another manga. Who Knows?

This book is definitely in the running for possible read next though:


--House of Ash by Hope Cook-- I need to get better with reviewing the books I request off of Netgalley, especially if I want to become a serious reviewer and get approved for more Netgalley e-arcs. It's just hard for me to pick up an e-book when the feel of a physical copy is just so right. You know what I mean? Anyway, this book doesn't come out until September 26, 2017, but I shouldn't procrastinate. 

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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review: Y: The Last Man, Volume 7: Paper Dolls (Issues #37-42) by Vaughan, Guerra, Sudzuka, Marzan, Jr., and Robins


Title: Y: The Last Man, Volume 7: Paper Dolls (Issues #37-42)
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Pencillers: Pia Guerra and Goran Sudzuka
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Letterer: Clem Robins
Published by: DC Comics
Released: 2006
Source: Library

Summary: Yorick, Agent 355, and Dr. Mann have a pit stop in Australia. Yorick decides to take a shore leave of 24 hours to find Beth, with the assistance of Agent 355. Along the way, they meet up with a reporter who could change everything.
They are also still on the hunt for Ampersand, who not only is a lovable monkey, but could be the key to everything. 
Yorick, Agent 355, and Dr. Mann's next stop, Japan.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this, but it's not my favorite Volume in the series. The first half was good, but the second half got a little hard to follow. Still love Yorick and Agent 355. Dr. Mann, I could take or leave her. I'm excited to see where things go in the next Volume. I'm getting closer to the end, which makes me happy and sad at the same time.
I did get a little confused by the blast from the past near the end. Some of those scenes would have made more sense to appear in an earlier volume. I do hope they rescue Ampersand soon. His captor is no good.
Y: The Last Man is a comic series I really enjoy. I'm getting near the ultimate end, and I can't wait to see how the adventure continues in the next Volume!
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
I'm getting closer to the end!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

June 2017 Wrap-Up!

Here's everything I consumed in June 2017! I read 7 books, which I'm okay with. And I watched some stuff. So, here we go!!!

THE BOOKS
  
  
 

-- The Secret History of Twin Peaks (#1) by Mark Frost-- 4/5 -- Really enjoyed this! I loved the format of the book. I love books that are told through different, creative storytelling means. I started watching the show while reading this book, and am really enjoying that as well. The book is a conspiracy theorist's dream. It does contain spoilers for the show though. One difference I'm noting between the book and show, is the show contains much more wacky, weird humor, which I'm a definite fan of! 

--Arata: The Legend, Volume 5 by Yuu Watase-- 3.7/5 -- I liked this Volume. I still don't think it's my favorite series by Yuu Watase, but it is still enjoyable. I enjoyed this one because we got more from past Arata stuck in present, who I like. There was also a pretty crazy ending to this. I need the next Volume to find out what happens.

--The Spellman Files (#1) by Lisa Lutz-- 3.3/5 -- I won't lie, I was a little disappointed in reading this. Not that it was bad, just that it wasn't exactly what I wanted, or expected. The beginning was confusing in how it kept switching what time period we were in. I also feel like it took a little time to get into the actual story, the actual plot. I didn't hate it. I'm still going to read more of this series, but it just wasn't what I really wanted.

--American Gods by Neil Gaiman-- 4/5 -- Finally read this one! My first Neil Gaiman ever! I really liked the writing and Shadow Moon. I did think this story was suuuper weird though. I'm excited to read more by Neil Gaiman.

--Sweet Tooth, Volume 1: Out of the Deep Woods (Issues #1-5) by Jeff Lemire, Jose Villarrubia, Pat Brosseau-- 3.3/5 -- Another one that I'm mixed on. The story was super sad. Tragic. I also am not the biggest fan of the art style. Still excited to see what happens next in the series, but I do think more bad things are going to happen in the next volume. Just a feeling I have.

--Nemesis (#1) by Anna Banks-- 3.7/5 -- This one was surprising in a good way! I liked it more than I was expecting too. The beginning of the book was a little rough, but once it got past that, it was pretty good. I liked the main character Sepora. She was kind of wacky in how she went about things, which was entertaining. I will say, the romance became a little gag inducing as it went on. Just a little too heavy on the mushy gushy. I'm excited though to check out the sequel!

--The Blair Witch Project: A Dossier by D.A. Stern-- 3.5/5-- Another fun read! This book is another one that is told through a different format, still loving it! I enjoyed the story. I've watched The Blair Witch Project movie, and while it wasn't my favorite, I still kind of liked it. The book didn't really answer any questions that the movie left open, which I was expecting, but I still wanted answers too. I also found some parts a little creepy/scary. Maybe I just have an overactive imagination, especially when it's dark and I live very near woods, but still, it creeped me out a little.

THE TV/MOVIES
 

-- The 100: Season 4 -- Okay, yes. I might have binged the whole of Season 4 on Netflix just weeks after watching it on TV. I admit that it's shameful, but, I mean, I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!! It was just as good the second time, thanks for asking. I also think I'm finally getting over my show hangover after that season finale. I still need Season 5 like right now though!

-- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them -- I finally watched this movie. I know. There was a big part of me that wasn't really excited when this movie was announced or came out. Just thinking of a 4 to however many movies series, based on what is essentially a short school textbook, just felt like the biggest money grab to me. I mean, it still feels like a money grab. I watched the movie though, and it was really good! I liked it a lot!
I'm still mixed on how the Harry Potter franchise has been stretched, manipulated, changed. It feels like a lot of things are being released, and they just feel like ways to make money. I'm not fangirling over a lot of the stuff that's being released. It's also probably not a good idea that I follow J.K. Rowling on Twitter, her tweets mainly just irritate me. That's why it's better, at least for me, to have the author of books I read to just be this name on a page. I don't want to know about them, except for what it says in the author bio. I don't want to know them as people. I especially don't want to know what their political stance is. Moral of the story, Don't Follow J.K. Rowling on Twitter, it's a bad idea.
I still love Harry Potter though, don't get me wrong. Proud Slytherin over here!

And that's my June 2017 Wrap-Up! The year is now half over, how did that happen? Now, onto July!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Chew, Volume 5: Major League (Issues #21-25) by John Layman and Rob Guillory


Title: Chew, Volume 5: Major League (Issues #21-25)
Written by: John Layman
Drawn by: Rob Guillory
Published by: Image Comics, Inc.
Released: 2011
Source: Library

Summary: Tony Chu, skilled Cibopathic, plagued by the worst luck. He's just been reassigned to the Traffic Division, losing his FDA privileges. Applebee took great glee in informing him of that. His daughter, Olive, is also MIA. Tony has also been split from his partner John. 
Malevolent forces are at play for Tony Chu. His misery is our entertainment, but misery within reason.
My Thoughts: Such a good time! I always have a good time reading Chew. I love the art, the humor, and the little hidden Easter Eggs.
Tony had a tough time in this Volume. I felt bad for him. I mean, I found his time as a Traffic Cop to be very entertaining, but things went downhill for him very quickly.
I'm interested in this Olive and Savoy thing that's going on. I'm still confused as to what Savoy's angle is.
Oh John. I can only shake my head at what he's gotten himself into.
I will say that this Volume didn't feel the most relevant to the overall plot. Chew does tend to have problems sticking to some kind of relevant, continuing story, in my opinion, but that also can be part of its charm.
A great Volume of Chew. It made me laugh, and I very much enjoyed reading it. Can't wait to see where things go next. GO READ CHEW! It's fun!!
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 5/5
Great Fun! I Love It!!