Posted in 2016, August

ARC Review: The Bucket List by Emily Ruben


The Bucket ListThe Bucket List by Emily Ruben

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a sweet “end of life” tail which kind of reminded me of The Fault in Our Stars or A Walk to Remember.

Leah is kind of in a funk with her life. She is unsure about her major and is not sure about continuing on. Then the unthinkable happens….She gets a new neighbor and unbelievably…it’s her old BFF, Damon.

I have to say that I enjoyed the premise of this book but some of the scenarios were just a tad on the corny side and could be very predictable.

Damon was given 1 year to live but there was not much discussion about his illness.

I did enjoy the characters traveling to different places and the sweetness of their love affair. I enjoyed the idea of a bucket list and the fact that they did everything together, it wasn’t just one sided since Damon was the one dying. Leah was able to share in the enjoyment.

If you are searching for a sappy tear jerker, then you have found your next read! Even through it’s predictability, I would still recommend this read!

View all my reviews

heather

Posted in 2017, July

ARC Review: Far From Tree by Robin Benway


Far from the TreeFar from the Tree by Robin Benway

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this read but came out pleasantly surprised by what I had found.

The book revolves around three young adults that were separated when their mother gave them up for adoption. They are able to reunite and each of them find out that their lives are not as perfect as everyone around them thinks it is. They each have their fair share of issues and they each have hidden secrets that they need to find the courage to let the others aware of.

I loved the dynamic of the three POV’s and found the writing very easy to follow. The characters were well developed and definitely relatable. I cannot state whether I had a favorite character because I loved each of them for different reasons.

Grace was very sweet and really wanted to do the best she could for “peach”. This time in her life was very traumatic and one that will stay with her forever.

Maya wanted to be perceived as strong when she really was falling apart. She felt that she needed to hold everything together for everyone else but what she finds out is that it is okay to ask for help.

Joaquin was so protective over his sisters, which I LOVED, and was always worried about getting too close to people. He was cut a really raw deal but seemed like he might be okay.

Three completely different kids finding out where they come from and dealing with the after math of their families difficulties together as a united family. **swoon**

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy!

View all my reviews\

heather

Posted in 2016, Review

Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult


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Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published June 26th 2012 
Simon Pulse Simon Schuster 
My Rating: 2/5

Synopsis:

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.
And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.
A romantic and charming story, this companion novel to Off the Page will make every reader believe in the fantastical power of fairy tales.

My Thoughts:

Jodi Picoult has the way to write a book that will still have you thinking about it years after reading it, but with her first YA book I can honestly say I will forget about this book and its characters way before the month has passed. Between the Lines tells two stories, the story of Delilah a lonely 15-year-old, and the fairy tale book she is obsessed with.

I went into this expecting nothing but quality characters and plot just like in any other book Picoult has written, but Between the Lines fell short. Everything about this book felt like a cliche that was reimagined. Here we have Delilah, a fifteen-year-old high school freshman who doesn’t really fit in so she escapes whenever she can into books, except instead of the usual YA books, she’s reading a book marketed for children. It doesn’t take long until Delilah is so mesmerized with the book that she can’t stop reading it, she reads it over and over until she has memorized the entire book, and then one day the Prince in the story talks to her.

Inside of the book there is, Prince Oliver who is desperate to get out of the story and live in the real world with Delilah, to live a life that he has control over, a life the goes beyond the last page of his book. I found Oliver to be an interesting character because we get to see two different sides of him; Oliver the actor, and Oliver the boy who is desperate to be a real person, and live his life with Delilah. An aspect of this book that I hated the most was the insta-love. Maybe it’s just me but I hate when characters fall in love with each other before the book even really starts. For me to really enjoy a relationship, I want to see as it develops throughout the book, not them being madly love within a few chapters. It was because of the insta-love that I found myself not caring about their romance, but also the entire book was very predictable.

The predictability of this book was so annoying, especially since Picoult is the queen of twists and turns and misdirection, so to read a book of hers that I could see exactly what was going before it happens annoyed me and made me feel like I was wasting my time. I guess I went into this book expecting it to be like any other Picoult book, and that it would leave me mesmerized, thinking about how amazing it was after I read the last page. But this one just left me staring at it and thinking it was okay, nothing special.

Ultimately, this is just a story about two unhappy kids who want to be together, and are willing to go to great lengths make that happen. The twist here is that one is flesh and blood and the other is ink and paper, and while that twist should set this book apart from any other book, it really doesn’t.

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Posted in 2016

Teen Titans Vol. 1: Damian Knows Best.


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Benjamin Percy & Jonboy Meyers

Paperback, Trade, 144 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by DC Comics

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

As a part of DC Universe: Rebirth, the son of Batman, Damian Wayne, joins the Teen Titans!

The Teen Titans are further apart than ever before…until Damian Wayne recruits Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and the new Kid Flash to join him in a fight against his own grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul! But true leadership is more than just calling the shots–is Robin really up to the task? Or will the Teen Titans dismiss this diminutive dictator?

The team will have to figure this out fast, as a great evil from Damian’s past is lurking around the corner, ready to strike at the team’s newest leader and destroy the new Teen Titans before they even begin!

The newest era of one of DC’s greatest super-teams begins here in Teen Titans, Volume 1: Damian Knows Best! Written by Benjamin Percy (Green Arrow) with spectacular art by newcomer Jonboy Meyers.

CollectingTeen Titans 1-5, Rebirth

My Thoughts:

My little demon baby went out and made some friends! *dies*

I really enjoyed this volume. It was filled with action and heart, and those two factors put together are always a win in my book. I really was looking forward to this one, just because it has Damian. He’s my demon baby and I love him. He’s also my second favorite Robin, Jason being my first. But also, who doesn’t have a soft spot for the teen titans?

What I liked:

I loved the beginning! Watching as Damian assembled his team was the simultaneously worrying and hilarious. Being the little demon he is, he didn’t just ask them to join the Teen Titans. That would’ve been too easy.

The relationship between Alfred and Damian. This relationship really made me realize how young and lonely Damian really is, and it was a tad heartbreaking. HE’S JUST A LITTLE BABY!

Damian making friends. It was a miserable experience for him. I loved it!

Starfire lowkey being the team mom.

Wally (my other baby) being the glue, and making connections with everybody on the team.

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

Damian being vulnerable, saying PLEASE, and accepting help.

And finally, Damian putting Bruce in his place.

What I didn’t like:

Why does every Damian storyline have to be about Ra’s al Ghul, his mother, or showing everybody he’s the best. It was fine the first time around, but I want a storyline that doesn’t involve his past. We already know what he wants for his future, what he wants to be, and I need a storyline that’s going to bring us closer to that. That shows him growing without being hampered and constantly plagued by his past. We already have that with just about every member of the Bat-Family.

That is really the only thing I didn’t like. It’s annoying to be getting the same storyline in different variations. Damian’s overall character feels stagnant. He can’t grow beyond being the Demon. In this volume, there was quite a bit of growth and I loved it. I want it to continue, but with these same played out storylines, it ain’t gonna happen.

Now, in saying that I’m by no means discounting Percy’s storyline or writing because it was good. I like his depiction of Damian’s character and the rest of the team. His writing was intriguing and fast-paced, and as previously stated filled with action and heart. My critique comes from wanting to see more of Damian’s character in a way that doesn’t involve his past. I also blame Son of Superman, because it gave me all I wanted in two issues.

As this run continues I hope to see more growth from all characters and some interesting storylines.

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Posted in 2016

Hufflepuff Reads!


huff a puff

Hello Everybody, today I will be showing some house pride and be sharing books that represent my house: Hufflepuff.  I based each book on Hufflepuff traits, and some of those traits include: loyal, just, patient, determined, open-minded, caring, and hardworking, just to name a few.  


1. Lynburn Legacy
I picked this book for the characters, their determination to finding answers, the willingness to fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves, their outstanding loyalty and compassion.  This book is chocked full of Hufflepuff traits.

2. Buzz Kill
This book is an underrated read, it’s pretty great. It’s a mystery novel, I had so many suspects and none of them was the murderer. In all actuality, all of my suspects died.  I chose this read for Millie’s wholehearted loyalty to her father, her open-minded acceptance of Chase, and her kind heart even when people didn’t deserve it. Also, her unwavering tenacity, because this book gets crazy.

3. The Goddess Test

There is a specific moment In this book, a kinda turning point where the characters are shocked by the main character Kate’s unwavering loyalty. Kate is a Hufflepuff through and through, but it’s her loyalty, kindness, and compassion that really stand out to me. Definitely not afraid of toil either.

4. My Most Excellent Year
Also, another underrated read and an excellent one at that. When it comes to tenacity, kindness, loyalty, compassion, patience, hardworking, and caring, every character in this book between the three main characters and their parents that’s what they are. It’s such a sweet coming of age novel, and the perfect Hufflepuff read.

5. Scorpio Races
I picked this book because of the main character, Puck. Some might say that her bravery makes her a Gryffindor, you would be wrong. Her loyalty to her family and her determination makes her a Hufflepuff. Every decision she made wasn’t because she was brave, or to prove her strength it was her loyalty to her family and her determination to protect them.

 

As always, happy reading! 

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Posted in 2016, Review

Review: New Super-Man, Volume 1: Made in China


33232743

 Gene Luen Yang & Viktor Bogdanovic 

Paperback, Trade, 144 pages
Published June 27th, 2017 by DC Comics
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times best-selling author and National Book Award nominee Gene Luen Yang continues his work at DC with New Super-Man, Volume 1, a part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

An impulsive act of heroism thrusts an arrogant young man into the limelight of Shanghai as China begins to form its own Justice League of powerful heroes. As the government creates their own Superman, will they live to regret the person they’ve chosen? Rising from the ashes of Superman: The Final Days of Superman and the death of the Man of Steel, will this New Super-Man step up to the challenge, or be crushed under the weight of his hubris and inexperience?

Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Superman) and on-the-rise art star Viktor Bogdanovic (Batman: Arkham Knight) introduce readers to Kong Kenan, an all-new superhero who could change the world…or be the end of it, in New Super-Man, Volume 1.

Collecting: New Super-Man 1-6

My Thoughts: 

Yo. This is one of the best titles in Rebirth. I don’t care what anybody says, ITS ONE OF THE BEST.

Gene’s writing in this was so funny, vibrant, and realistic. Kenan felt like a child, he acted exactly how you would expect a teenager to act if he were given superpowers and it was great. This trade is lighthearted and fun, has action, and heart.

Kenan is far from being Clark Kent, and that’s what makes him such a great character. Honestly, he’s more Tony Stark than he is Clark Kent. He has Clark’s powers, but he isn’t Clark at all. What Kenan is, is a little shithead. I say that with love because by the end of the trade he has grown. He’s still a little brat, but if he weren’t he wouldn’t be Kenan and then this trade would suck. The kid we are introduced to in the beginning is, different than the kid we see at the end. He’s been knocked down and so he doesn’t shine as bright, but the growth is noticeable.

This a new run with a new character so there isn’t much I can say without spoiling the whole trade but here are a few things you will find in this trade: great characters, an unlikely team, broken family ties, lots of sarcasm and teasing, a magic lasso, Chinese politics, and a plot twist that I saw coming a mile way, and a plot twist at the end that shocked the hell out of me.

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Posted in 2016, Review

Review: The Flash, Volume 2: Speed of Darkness


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Joshua Williamson & Felipe Watanabe

Paperback, Trade, 128 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by DC Comics
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: 

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!
A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well…you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts–but just where did this amazing new friend come from? Spinning directly out of the epic events of DC Universe: Rebirth, the Fastest Man Alive finds himself at the center of a DC Universe at a crossroads.
From up-and-coming writer Joshua Williamson (Illuminati, Red Skull) and illustrator Carmine Di Giandomenico comes The Flash, Vol. 2: Speed of Darkness!

Collecting: The Flash 9-13

My Thoughts: 

Thankfully they dropped the repetitiveness In this volume which that in itself is a vast improvement in my eyes.

The artwork was pretty rough in the beginning but starting in the midpoint of the first issue it improved vastly, and it was beautiful. I liked the design of the characters and the colors were nice and bright which worked wonderfully with the storyline.

Barry Allen, I love him but he works every single one of my nerves! He constantly talks about his shortcomings and how he has to teach Wally (the young one), and how he needs to show Wally that he cares, but he doesn’t! He actually just stops and tells him he can’t be Kid Flash anymore until he can trust him….wtf? I as a reader can see his mindset and why this decision might be plausible in his head, but to Wally, it just seems like bullshit. Which I completely understand, Barry needs to think about and take care of Wally considering he is only a child.

And if this little rant wasn’t clear, I have a soft spot for Kid Flash, both Wally’s actually. I want to give the red-headed Wally a big hug! He has lost so much. I really loved the moment between him and Kid Flash it was so sweet, and really drove home how neglectful Barry is. I really could go on and on about all of Barry’s faults and it will come back to how he treats his sidekicks.

But then, he had this really sweet moment with Kid Flash that was pretty freaking amazing and made me forget all of the BS and simultaneously made me remember why I love Barry Allen. Though he works my nerves, he’s a great hero, and he gets it eventually.

Overall, though this trade was very short it was pretty awesome. Filled with action and relationships I thought it was a solid follow-up to volume 1.

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Posted in 2016

My Underrated Reads | Supernatural Series


Hey, everyone! Today I will be sharing my favorite underrated supernatural series. While putting together this list I realized that I have quite a bit of reads I feel that need some more love so there will be more of these coming! Happy Reading

1. Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow. This series is hands down one of my all time favorites. Without spoiling too much it follows the main character, Dru, after her life turns upside down after father disappears after a hunting trip. It has werewolves and vampires, and some pretty interesting mythology. It’s filled with action and adventure, Dru is a kickass main character, and has an amazing cast of secondary and supporting characters. The only downside is the series has an open ending.

2. Lily Dale by Wendy Corsi Staub – I like this series because it was such a realistic, relatable version of the typical ghost story. It’s a great mystery, but also a great coming of age tale, I loved watching as Calla grew and learned. Calla just lost her mom and has moved in with her grandmother for the summer in Lily Dale. This story follows Calla’s journey is accepting her mother’s death and the mystery that surrounds it. I think if you loved Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Ghost Whisperer you would love this series as well.

3. Dark Visions by L.J. Smith – love, adventure, mystery, and psychic powers. Also in book two, there’s a road trip and it’s pretty amazing. I know this series was first released in the 90s, and then released in a bind up a few years ago. It’s such an interesting series filled with twists and turns. Thinking about it right now it kind of reminds me of Sense8.

4. Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson – this one is a lot like season one of Teen Wolf but with a female protagonist. This duology is really a coming of age werewolf story and it’s really sweet and has some cool werewolf mythology.

5. Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong – Okay this one isn’t underrated, but it is one of my favorite supernatural series. This is the series that made me love Kelley Armstrong. Now this series is pretty amazing. It follows a group of kids at Lyle House a special home for troubled kids. Lyle house has many secrets, and unfortunately for these kids, they’re right in the middle of it. I can’t say any more than that without spoiling the series, but it’s a really fun series, with great characters. (I recommend starting with The Summoning)

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Posted in ARC Review, June

ARC Review: Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker


Emma in the NightEmma in the Night by Wendy Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anyone whom loves psychological thrillers MUST READ THIS BOOK!!

I have recently become obsessed with these types of books and I tend to just let them consume my life until I hit the very end and gather all info needed to solve the puzzle. This particular book was definitely one of those stay up til 3 AM types of books!

There is so much going on and so much dysfunction with these characters that I do not even know where to start. I can tell you that right off the bat, I loathed Cass & Emma’s mother. If you ever encounter a person like this in real life, then you know exactly what I am talking about because I have! I felt sorry for their father and alot of sadness for Cass herself.

The book was written in dual POV from the view of Cass and the detective on the case that had grown up with dysfunction in her family too. I enjoyed it this way because you got to see what was happening behind the scenes while also seeing everything from Cass’s eyes since she had been the last person to see Emma.

The ending was not exactly what I had expected but that is what made the book sooo good…because you do not expect that crazy ending! I am telling you to pick this one up!!!

View all my reviews

Thank you to St. Martin Press for the review copy!

heather

Posted in Review

Review: Superman, Volume 2: Trial of the Super Sons


31353032

Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Paperback, First, 168 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by DC Comics
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
 
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Synopsis: 

Superman and his super-son Jon are back in the second volume by best-selling author Peter J. Tomasi!

With Jon becoming more and more powerful by the day, Superman’s greatest foes are starting to take notice of the new super-kid on the block. When one of the most evil and ruthless of Superman’s rogues’ gallery comes for the Man of Steel’s son, Clark must decide just how far he’s willing to go to protect the ones he loves.
Superman and Jon Kent are transported to Dinosaur Island to find the last of the Losers! Then, after a quick trip to the county fair, Jon meets his match in Damian Wayne—and the Super Sons’ fathers soon put the two young heroes through their paces as a new crime-fighting team is forged!

Collecting: Superman 7-13

My Thoughts: 

First of all,

This trade was a little different than the last one. Instead of having one story arc that was explored throughout the whole trade, this one had three. I will share my thoughts on each story arc, there will be a little spoilers but nothing that will ruin the trade or the story arcs.

The first arc was Dinosaur Island part 1&2. I thought this arc was really good and I can’t wait to see where the storyline goes. It left me with so many questions! It did a great job of exploring Jon and Clark’s relationship, and Jon ever developing powers, all while introducing a new plot line that I expect will show up in the coming trades. Honestly, these issues were so good that it could be its own series. Now, looking back I wish the story arc was further explored and fleshed out more, just because it was that good and exciting.

Now, after I read the first trade which I gave a 1-star rating, I was sure that I wasn’t going to be continuing on with this run. But, I saw the cover and knew I had to read it.

Truly, I only wanted to read this volume to see Damian beat up Jon.

Not that I have anything against Jon because he’s pretty freaking adorable but, Damian Wayne is my little demon baby and I love him!

The two issues in which Damian was featured were great! I enjoyed seeing Maya & Goliath again. Also, Maya calls Damian little brother and I die. Watching these two super sons work together was adorable, sweet, and oh so funny! I really can’t say much about this arc without spoiling anything, but these issues serve as a kind of backdoor pilot. And after reading this, I will definitely be picking Super Sons.

The last two issues in this trade felt a little out of place. Though Lois Lane continues to be pretty freaking amazing.

Frankenstein and his Bride are hunting for a fugitive. These last issues mainly focused on them, and their relationship. The ending for the last issue was rushed, one second they’re looking for the fugitive and the next she’s apprehended with little explanation. but the main focus really wasn’t on the fugitive it was the Frankensteins and, damn the Bride was ice cold! By the end, I wanted to punch her and hug Frankenstein.

One critique I have is there needs to be more dad jokes. Clark told only TWO dad jokes in this whole trade. I would love it if Batman told a dad joke, can imagine?

While I still stand behind the 1 star I have volume 1, I have to say this volume was pretty freaking adorable. I think I liked this volume much better because I knew what to expect. It has action but it’s mainly family-focused and filled with fluff, it’s sweet and entertaining.

I get it now.

If you’re new to comics and don’t know where to start, this run is a good starting point if you’re interested in Superman or fans of Smallville!

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