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!

Friday, August 18, 2017

BLOG TOUR and REVIEW: Project Pandora (Assassin Fall #1) by Aden Polydoros

Welcome to this stop on the Project Pandora Blog Tour!



Title: Project Pandora (Assassin Fall #1)
Author: Aden Polydoros
Published by: Entangled Teen
Released: August 1st, 2007
Source: Netgalley and Entangled Teen review copy (ebook format)

Summary/Synopsis: Pandora's Box Is Opening... Those words can turn an average kid into an unfeeling killer. When the hit is complete, the teen has no memory of it even happening. The perfect soldiers, the perfect weapon, the perfect killers. These teens are part of something called Project Pandora. A secret project, funded and run by despicable people. The aim is to take over the world, strategically.
What happens when the program glitches? When these teens start to realize what they are and what they've been made to do. Can they bring down Project Pandora?
My Thoughts: I received this book for free to review through Entangled Teen and NetGalley, and then found  myself on a blog tour for it! That's cool. I want to thank Entangled Teen and NetGalley for letting me read and review a copy early. As always, my review is going to be 100% honest thoughts on the book. What I liked, what I might not have liked. I won't lie to you.
My favorite part about this book is that it's an action thriller. I love those types of books! I don't think the YA genre has enough action thrillers. They are just fun to read. The action keeps me on the edge of my seat, with the pages flying by.
Project Pandora is about a secret program where kids are born and bred for nefarious purposes. I got a smidgen of an Orphan Black vibe with this. I really enjoyed that whole shadowy project vibe. Discovering all the secrets, and trying to unearth the purpose of why this all was happening was pretty interesting.
I enjoyed the writing of this story. It was good. It had a nice flow and kept me reading.
This book had some pretty intense scenes too! Some things that really shocked me, and made me feel bad for the characters.
This novel was split into four different character points of view, which I don't know was really necessary. My favorite character to read about was Hades. I found him the most interesting. He's not a good guy. His time in the Program has messed him up. He's a touch psychotic, kind of scary, but I couldn't help feeling sorry for him and intrigued by him. His story packed the most feels.
My second favorite character was Tyler. He's more the good guy character. The guy who's realizing what he has been forced into and trying to get out.
As for the two other perspectives, Shannon and Elizabeth, I didn't feel like they were really necessary. Everything could have been told from Tyler and Hades' points of view, and I feel I would have got the same story. Elizabeth and Shannon had some interesting moments, but I feel the book could have done better with less main characters to follow.
I also don't feel like this book had much of a plot. It had a cool concept, but I sometimes wondered what was the point of everything? What were they going to do next? What the ultimate plan was? How were they going to stop Project Pandora? A lot of the time, it just felt like the characters were running here and then there with no real purpose.
I thought this book was a lot of fun. I love action thrillers, conspiracies, assassins, and secret government programs. They are a good time to read. The ending left me with questions that I want answers to. I would recommend this book. Thanks Entangled Teen and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.5/5
Olympus is rising...

Check it out on GoodReads


The Author

Aden Polydoros

 Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, the youngest of three children. Aden’s family moved to Arizona when he was in second grade. As a kid, he spent much of his time exploring the desert near his home. When he wasn’t searching for snakes and lizards, he was raiding the bookshelves of the local library. As a teenager, Aden decided that he wanted to be a writer. He spent his free time writing short stories. He was encouraged by his English teacher to try his hand at writing a novel, which inspired him to begin PROJECT PANDORA. The YA thriller is set for publication with Entangled Publishing in Summer of 2017. He is represented by Mallory Brown of Triada US



Check out the other tour stops and hosts HERE!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook


Title: Year of Mistaken Discoveries
Author: Eileen Cook
Published by: Simon Pulse
Released: 2015
Source: Library

Summary: Nora and Avery became friends in grade school because of a shared connection, they were both adopted. Over the years they've grown apart, and with senior year flying by, they will soon go on their separate ways forever. Avery hasn't been really bothered by the demise of their friendship, they are into separate things, different hobbies. Avery is shocked when she learns that Nora is dead, by suicide.
With Nora's death, Avery's life starts to spin out of control. She's on a break from her relationship, her dream college has deferred her early admission status, and she needs a new partner for her senior project. Avery then gets partnered up with Nora's old partner, Brody. She decides to continue with the quest Nora began, and find her birth mother. 
What starts as a selfish way to impress the college board with an awesome senior project changes into something else, and new friends are made along the way.
My Thoughts: I liked this book. It gave me an interesting look into adoption and just what family means.
This book tried to tackle two pretty big issues: suicide and adoption. Well, maybe tackle isn't the right word, more like explore these two issues. I felt like it explored one thing more than it did the other. Nora was pretty much a jumping off point for Avery's search for her birth mother. The suicide aspect was almost kind of an add-on. A little was done with it, but not enough. Suicide is a shocking, tragic event. Knowing that you'll never see that person again, and they they left by their own hand can be almost too much to bear. It's a permanent fix to a temporary problem. I almost wish the author had picked a different way for Nora to die.
The adoption aspect, and the search for the birth mother was pretty interesting, but I felt like everything happened too quickly. It all came together too neatly. Maybe it was because it was such a short read, but I kind of wanted more from the search, and maybe finding her birth father too. I did feel bad for Avery at the end of her journey.
My other little gripes were that I wasn't the biggest fan of the quick romance and Avery's reasoning for embarking on the search. I was hot and cold with Avery's character. 
I did like the overall story and the ending. It was different because I don't usually read books about suicide and adoption. I wish things would have gone more in depth and been a little meatier, but all in all, I did enjoy it. I think I'm going to read some more of Eileen Cook's stuff, because I'm interested.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.3/5
I Am Intrigued.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#TheReadingQuest Readathon!

I've decided to join in on #TheReadingQuest Readathon. It's a Readathon mixed with a more game format. You pick a character, you follow that character's path, you earn Experience Points and Health Points for completing challenges, and you just have fun! For all the rules and explanations, I'm going to link to the blog Read At Midnight, who is hosting this challenge. All information and what-not can be found HERE!
This #TheReadingQuest has already started. It runs from August 13th to September 10th.
I've decided to embark on the character path of The Rogue! Just because I like the idea of being a Rogue, stealthy and all that. The Rogue's challenges are a little more difficult, but I'm going to try.


ROGUE ASHLEY
10 EXP
10 HP
Can be found at the blog ashleysgotbookcitement
On youtube at acbsgotbookcitement
Twitter and Instagram @gotbookcitement

THE PATH SHE MUST FOLLOW


THE FIRST BOOK SHE IS READING FOR HER JOURNEY


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart which goes towards the challenge of A Book Cover With A Partially Obscured Face

I don't know how well I will do at this challenge overall, but wish me luck. They also have a GoodReads Group where people can get together and discuss the topics. The characters and board images came from Reading At Midnight's blog and the cover for We Were Liars came from GoodReads, as do all my book cover images.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: Rosario + Vampire: Volume 1 by Akihisa Ikeda


Title: Rosario + Vampire: Volume 1
Story and Art by: Akihisa Ikeda
Published by: VIZ Media, LLC
Released: 2008
Source: Library

Summary: Tsukune didn't do too well on his high school exams, but luckily he was accepted into Yokai Academy. Students at the school are different, they are all monsters! Tsukune is the only human at the school, humans aren't even allowed there. Tsukune has to keep his humanity a secret if he wants to continue living!
Tsukune meets a beautiful girl named Moka who is completely out of his league. She's drawn to him though, maybe because she's a vampire who craves blood, or maybe because she likes him. Who knows.
My Thoughts: I thought this was enjoyable. It wasn't the best manga I've ever read, but it's not the worst either. This is a very episodic manga. Each chapter is kind of its own mini story. This seems like one of those mangas that can just go on and on because it focuses more on an episodic nature than a full on, involved plot. Sometimes I don't know how I feel about those mangas. I tend to like the ones with a single plot, but I do think the episodes work for this series.
I did think it would take longer for Tsukune to be revealed as human, so I was surprised it happened in the first ten pages.
I liked the art style overall.
This did seem to be geared to more male readers. Lots of short, short skirts, undies that you could see, and boob shots. So if you don't like that kind of thing, this might not be your manga.
Overall, I thought this was kind of fun. I'll probably read more of it.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.5/5
Many Many Monsters.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Reading Right Now! (128)

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


-- Breaker by Kat Ellis -- This is what I'm Reading Right Now! and am almost finished with. I'm liking it. I think the premise is pretty interesting. It's about this kid named Kyle, whose father was a serial killer called The Bonebreaker. After he's executed, he moves with his mom to a new town to begin a new life. He enrolls in a private school where he meets a girl named Naomi. He recognizes Naomi as soon as she introduces herself. Her mom was the last victim of the Bonebreaker. Kyle doesn't know what to do, and even worse, he's falling for her. Then some mysterious things start happening at the school.
I'm enjoying it. I think the build up of the story is very nice. It has a creepy sort of atmosphere. I will say, I did figure out who the bad guy was very early on, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment. I just have mere pages left of this, so I will finish it this weekend.

Options for reading next...

  

-- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart -- I've been hearing about this one for a while and I want to read it. It's also coming up due at the library soon, so I need to get to it. And I haven't been spoiled for whatever the ending is, so please don't spoil me after I've done so well at staying away from spoilers.

-- Emma In the Night by Wendy Walker -- I got this one through NetGalley and really need to read it. It just came out this month. I love mystery/thriller kind of things. I think I requested it because of the genre and the cover.

-- Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller -- Surprise surprise, another library book that I need to read because it is coming up due. But it's about Pirates!! And I love Pirates!! I did my senior project in high school on pirates. I also love love love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I still need to watch the newest one that just came out. Anyway, I've heard good things about this one, so I want to read it.

That's what I'm Reading Right Now! and what I'm planning to read next. Sorry for the lack of posts this week on the blog. Laziness is a thing I suffer from pretty frequently.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: Nailbiter, Volume 2: Bloody Hands by Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson, and Adam Guzowski


Title: Nailbiter, Volume 2: Bloody Hands
Story by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Mike Henderson
Colors by: Adam Guzowski
Letters and Book Design by: John J. Hill
Edited by: Rob Levin
Published by: Image Comics, Inc.
Released: 2015
Source: Library

Summary: Welcome to Buckaroo, Oregon! What makes Buckaroo notable you ask? Well, what we're best know for is being the birthplace of a number of serial killers. Nobody knows why Buckaroo churns them out. Are we cursed? Is there something in the atmosphere that changes us? Nature or Nurture? Who knows. Buckaroo's got its secrets though.
Why yes, you did hear right, the serial killer known as Nailbiter is back living in town. He's been released. Mysterious deaths you say? Yeah, we've had some of those too. Hopefully our sheriff and that investigator named Finch will be able to sort it all out. Enjoy your stay!
My Thoughts: I was entertained and intrigued the whole time while reading this. There is a lot of weird mystery surrounding Buckaroo, a mystery that I want to find out. I'm intrigued by this town.
This series is dark and weird, but it hasn't exactly scared the socks off me yet. I feel like it's laying down the weird vibes, and there will come a time where the scares will get real intense. It's been very creepy so far, with a lot of dark humor.
I thought this Volume was fun. It definitely gave me more questions then it did answers. I'm excited to further investigate the mysteries of Buckaroo.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
Oooh I'm Intrigued!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Reading Right Now! (127)

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

 

-- The Lost Causes by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwarts -- This is a review book I got through Netgalley and Kids Can Press as an ebook for free to read. And guys, THIS IS AWESOME!!! I actually just finished it tonight. My review for it will be going up when it releases, September 5th, 2017. I definitely, definitely recommend picking this one up. It was so addictive. 
Anyway, it's about these troubled kids who come from different backgrounds. Their parents don't really care about them and they all have different problems in their lives that they are not really coping with. One day, they all get called to a session by the school counselor, and end up in a weird group meeting, with two people they never met before. After that meeting, they notice changes in themselves, and new abilities they've acquired. They've become The Lost Causes, and with their new abilities, they've been tasked with solving a murder in their small town. These kids who were never friends before, suddenly become part of something, and form a bond that's unbreakable.
I really liked it! It reminded me of Scooby Doo, little hint of X-Men, and a dash of Criminal Minds. It was great! 

-- Doubt, Volume 2 (Doubt #3-4) by Yoshiki Tonogai -- This is what I'm planning to read next. I really enjoyed the first omnibus volume and I can't wait to see how it all ends. It's been a little bit since I read the first book, but I think my memory of it is clear enough.
This one is about a dangerous game of a wolf hiding among the rabbits and killing them off one by one. It starts as a group of gamer friends meeting for the first time, and they find themselves trapped in a mysterious place with someone killing them one by one. It's the game come to life, and they have to find out who the wolf is before it kills them all!

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

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: Arata: The Legend, Volume 3 by Yuu Watase


Title: Arata: The Legend, Volume 3
Story and Art by: Yuu Watase
Published by: VIZ Media LLC
Released: 2009
Source: Library

Summary: Having escaped the prison island, Arata is now traveling towards the incapacitated Princess. His journey takes him through lands ruled by the men who are after him. He and his friends find respite in the house of a new friend, for a while, and learn just how dangerous their quest will be.
Meanwhile, the Arata in the present discovers high school, spicy mustard, and makes new friends!
My Thoughts: Really enjoyed this Volume. There is a reason Yuu Watase is one of my favorite manga artists. I love her characters, her art style, and her stories.
My only gripe is the same as I had in Volume 2. Some of the action scenes are too busy and cluttered, and it's hard for me to see just what's happening. 
I loved seeing the other Arata in present day! I think that's a fun, light part of the overall story to observe. The Arata in the past storyline is getting really interesting too!
I can't wait to see what happens in the next volume.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
Fun!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Random Tuesday: Influenster and Maybelline City Mini Palette Review

When I say Random Tuesday, I really mean random. This post is not book related, it's about makeup. I have a makeup buying, hoarding, and trying addiction. I just find it really fun to do. I don't wear makeup everyday, but I do buy quite a lot of it. I'm also a big fan of the site https://www.influenster.com/ It's a consumer review site, where people can post reviews for products they've tried and they can see upcoming products. Influenster is a reviewers website. Based on a person's social media influence, they can sometimes be selected to try products for free to review. What happens is, they send a survey, you take it, and sometimes you get lucky and are chosen for a campaign. I love influenster. I think it's a really fun site and I've been lucky enough to receive a couple boxes.
This post is about the Maybelline City Mini Palettes that hit the makeup market not too long ago. I was lucky enough to qualify for the campaign, so I was sent a City Mini Palette for free to review. All opinions are 100% honest and 100% my own. I receive no payment for reviewing this product, I just received it complimentary to try out. So here's my review for what I got!


This is what arrived at my door! or mailbox if you want to be technical. All influenster campaigns come in there own cute little boxes that say influenster and the product you're testing on it. This box has been the smallest box I ever got from influenster. It's actually pretty cute. Inside the box are the products you're testing, along with a little information card.


I received the City Mini Palette in the shade Matte About Town. This palette is a Walgreens exclusive palette, so you can only purchase it there. They also have one palette that's an Ulta exclusive. There are six other palettes that should be available wherever Maybelline Products are sold. The Matte About Town Palette is a completely matte shadow palette, which I was pretty excited about. Matte shadows, I feel, can be harder to come across at the drugstore. Good matte shadows can be even rarer to find.


The Matte About Town Palette contains six shades, which I attempted to artistically swatch above. I love how that one shade matches the freckles on my harm haha. As you can see, I am pale, and I know some of the swatches don't look that impressive, but don't be fooled! I really liked how these shadows performed on my eyes. I found the shadows easy to blend, pigmented, and they had a really good lasting power. The shadows also have a very silky feel when you touch them. They aren't dry, they aren't chalky. Some of the shadows did have some kick-up powder wise, especially that lightest shade at the top left, so be sure to tap off your brush.
I'm really happy with this palette and I'm glad I got it for free to try out. I'm impressed with the shadows. I think Maybelline did a fantastic job. I can honestly see this palette becoming a staple for my eye looks. I need matte eyeshadows in a majority of my makeup looks, and these did a really good job. I liked this palette so much, that I went and bought two other palette shades in the line. Since I received a matte shadow palette, I wanted to see how some of the more shimmery shades preformed. I haven't used the new palettes on my eyes just yet, but I think they are going to be good.
If you are a makeup addict like me, I'd definitely recommend giving these a try. They won't break the bank, I think I saw them at Target for $7.99, and Maybelline always has coupons in the ads. These little palettes are a win for me.
Thank you to Influenster and Maybelline for sending them to me for free to review. I love getting campaign boxes, and I hope I get more. If you haven't joined Influenster, you totally should! It's a fun site where you can review products you've tried, and sometimes get free stuff!! If you don't mind sharing your thoughts and opinions about products on social media, then it's definitely a site you should consider.
So that's my little review for the Maybelline City Mini Palette in Matte About Town, and the end of this truly Random Tuesday Post. If you enjoyed reading a post about makeup, let me know, because I enjoy talking about it. I buy a shameful amount of makeup and I just can't stop.