Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week I am listing the top ten book releases I am excited for in the first half of 2016!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Publication Date:  February 1, 1998
Publisher:  William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages:  250

Series:  Stand Alone
Genre:  Fantasy
Synopsis:  Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  Since it is nearly Christmas (!!!), I am to now list ten books I hope to find waiting under my tree with a big, fat bow on top.  Please applaud my refrain from simply stating all the books.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Christmas Tag!

Although Christmas may not be as exciting as when I was a kid, it still remains one of my favorite times of the year.  I am sure my parents are just relieved that I have long since outgrown waking them up at three in the morning to open presents.  Thanks to the lovely Rebekah at Wings Made of Words for tagging me!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Publication Date:  September 24, 2013
Publisher:  Tor
Pages:  364
Series:  Vicious #1
Genre:  Science Fiction
Synopsis:  Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and today's monumentally difficult task is to list the top ten books I have read in 2015.  Watch me proceed to read a book following this post and then wish I could have put it on here.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

Publication Date:  October 8, 2015  
Publisher:  Ebury Press
Pages:  224
Series:  Stand Alone
Genre:  Nonfiction 
Synopsis:  Hello reader,

In this book is a world. A world created by two awkward guys who share their lives on the internet!

We are Dan and Phil and we invite you on a journey inside our minds! From the stories of our actual births, to exploring Phil's teenage diary and all the reasons why Dan's a fail.

Learn how to draw the perfect cat whiskers, get advice on what to do in an awkward situation and discover which of our dining chairs represents you emotionally. With everything from what we text each other, to the time we met One Direction and what really happened in Vegas...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Authors New-to-Me in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  2015 has been a marvelous reading year.  I stumbled upon more than a few authors and novels that impressed me.  Here's to me hoping 2016 will be even better.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Bedtime Book Tag!

I stay up late into the night so often I'm practically nocturnal. It's to a point where I must be half vampire.  At least this isn't Sunnydale, am I right?
Thanks to Anna at Annaish for tagging me!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Publication Date:  May 5, 2015  
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Pages:  448
Series:  Stand Alone
Genre:  Fantasy
Synopsis:  When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Recap: November 2015!

I could have sworn 2015 had just begun, but here we are with only one month left in the year.  It has finally started to grow colder here in the Northern hemisphere.  Is winter really almost upon us?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Book Releases

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week I was supposed to choose ten 2016 debut novels I am excited about.  I changed that a little--now it's 2016 releases in general.  I find most books I am anxiously awaiting are not debuts.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Publication Date:  February 24, 2015
Publisher:  Tor Books
Pages:  398
Series:  A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Genre:  Fantasy
Synopsis:  Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit. 

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Thanksgiving and Thankfulness

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week it is Thanksgiving in America so I'm listing ten things I'm thankful for, including the usual cliches.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Book GIF Tag!

GIFs may be controversial on how exactly they're pronounced, but the one thing everyone seems to agree on is how fun they are.  Finally, humankind invented something close to what Harry Potter had.  I stole this tag from Anna over at Annaish, who is incredible and has an extreme love for The Raven Boys.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Comic Book Reviews I

Vol. 1: No Normal
Author:  G.  Willow Wilson
Artist:  Adrian Alphona

Rating:  2.5 keys

Ms. Marvel is the first issue in a new Marvel (obviously) series about a Muslim girl named Kamala who suddenly finds herself with superhero abilities.  After all the hype, I have to say that I expected more.  This one fell a bit flat.  It lacks in depth and is cliche all the way around.  Hopefully there will be more expansion in the sequel.

Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy
Author:  Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher
Artist:   Karl Kerschl

Rating:  4 Keys

I am not a DC girl.  I am Marvel all the way.  However, I have a soft spot for Batman and, of course, Gotham.  Naturally, I enjoyed this spin-off tale about Olive Silverlock--student at Gotham Academy.  This comic is jam-packed with mystery and tension and gorgeous art.  The designs are spot on.  My only complaint is that the pages are a little busy--my eyes didn't know where to look first!

The Night Gwen Stacy Died--Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 #121
Author:  Stan Lee
Artist:  Gil Kane

Rating:  5 Keys  

This was the first comic book I ever read and it did not disappoint.  I picked up my dad's old, battered copy and delved into the early ages of Spider-Man:  the Gwen Stacy era.  If nothing else, this issue is climactic and ends on a jaw-dropping cliff-hanger.  My single coherent thought is that Spider-Man is so cool.

Author/Artist:  Emily Carroll

Rating:  3.5 Keys

Through the Woods is unsettling.  It is guaranteed to give you goosebumps.  Five little mystical stories to keep you up at night.  It is whimsical horror.  I downright adored the coloring--dominantly black and white with pops of color creeping in--although the drawings themselves weren't my preferred style.

Season 8:  The Long Way Home
Author:  Joss Whedon
Artist:  Georges Jeanty

Rating:  3.5 Keys

This is quintessentially Buffy, through and through.  It feels like the show, something I attribute to Joss Whedon's witty writing.  However, it isn't without flaws:  there is so much happening at once that it is hard to keep track of and I am uncertain about the villain being a government order, as it reminds me of The Initiative in season 4, which I wasn't a huge fan of.  But this is Buffy--impossible not to love.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  I am quite particular about my quotes.  I hoard words and prefer to keep them close to my heart.  The quotes I choose don't always come from books and especially not from this year alone.  But here are the ones I could manage:

Friday, November 13, 2015

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date:  October 6, 2015
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Pages:  522
Series:  Stand Alone
Genre:  Fantasy
Synopsis:  Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Publication Date:  April 1, 2014
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 
Pages:  336
Series:  Stand Alone
Genre:  Contemporary
Synopsis:  It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Recap: October 2015!

I'm fairly certain I say this every month, but where did the time go?  A month ago I was living in a different state and anxiously awaiting Halloween.  Now it's November the first and I'm wondering how Halloween has already passed and typing this post up in a new house.   

This Halloween my family and I went to an amusement park that was having a horror night.  Although I couldn't dress up as I planned (as Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), since costumes weren't allowed, I still had a spooktacular time.

I rode my first ever real roller coaster, the kind that flips you upside down and drops without warning--and it was beyond awesome.  Plus, candy.  And pretzels.  And all sorts of yummy deliciousness.

Rating:  3 Keys

The Shining was my first Stephen King novel, carefully selected to scare the living daylights out of me.  Unfortunately, while King is a master at spinning unbelievable realistic and flawed characters and at analyzing the psychology of the human mind, he failed to frighten me.

Rating: 4 Keys

Victoria Schwab has never failed to give me a stellar reading experience, and The Near Witch is no exception.  The story has the feel of an old fairy tale, paired with melodic writing, which results in an imperfect but enjoyable read.

Rating:  3.5 Keys

As you can imagine, Love Letters to the Dead is not exactly a cheerful book, but is rather heartfelt and genuine.  It deals with tough issues in an extremely sensitive and respectful way, although it does not escape from faults--there is often foolish drama and an erratic writing style.  Even so, I would recommend this book to anyone up for an emotional roller coaster ride.

Rating:  4 Keys

If you couldn't guess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite TV shows of all time.  I was over the moon excited to get my hands on the graphic novels, which pick up where the last season left off.  While it isn't perfect, the first issue is so intrinsically Buffy that I couldn't help but fall in love with it.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Publication Date:  August 2, 2011
Publisher:  Hyperion Books
Pages:  282
Series:  Stand Alone
Genre:  Paranormal
Synopsis:  The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. 

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books and Halloween Candy

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and today is Halloween themed!!!  I love Halloween, even though I no longer get all dressed up and go trick or treating--and that doesn't stop me from consuming an exorbitant amount of candy every year.  And what's more Halloween themed than candy?

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Shining by Stephen King

Publication Date:  January 28, 1977
Publisher:  Anchor
Pages:  512
Series:  The Shining #1
Genre:  Horror
Synopsis:  Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control. 

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? 

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel - and that too had begun to shine... 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Wishes I'd Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  Who doesn't occasionally wish they had a book genie to grant all their ludicrous and potentially dangerous desires (all I want is a glitter-breathing dragon, okay)?  From my peculiar mind I have procured a list of wishes that I would just die for.  Voila!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Behind the Blog: I've Moved!

Surprise--I'm talking about something non-bookish today!  Scarily, I'm addressing that real life exists outside of book pages.  As the title of this says, I've moved houses recently.  Recently meaning just a few days ago.  It has been a hectic experience--one I am not eager to go through again anytime in the foreseeable future.

Story time:  my house, the house I lived in for nearly a decade and the one I grew up in has been on the market for a short forever. About a month or so ago, it finally sold, and on October 9, 2015, I left it forever.  It was bittersweet--there's no other word for it.  I have been ready to move from the town I lived in for years now, but actually leaving is an entirely different thing.  Goodbyes are never any fun.  I still cannot quite believe that I won't wake up in my old bedroom tomorrow, go to my old high school, and say hello to my friends in class again.  It all feels like a terribly realistic dream.   

All this means the start of an entirely new life.  A new beginning. New school, new house, new library. Luckily enough, I have not one, but two libraries and two bookstores in my new town.  The first chance I get, I am getting a library card and checking out as many books as I can carry.  Let's just hope that my new high school isn't situated on top of an opening to hell (Buffy reference for the win).

Here is the part where this turns into a horror story:  I haven't been able to read a book for about two weeks.  I haven't been able to post or comment for a good week at least now.  If you've noticed my severe lack of activity, blame the insanity that comes with major change.  Hopefully, the situation will soon be rectified and I can start writing and reading much more frequently.

The town that I now inhabit (which I will not name, for obvious safety reasons) is a living fairy tale. Okay, I admit--that may be a bit of an exaggeration.  However, it is extremely post card worthy. While I am sad to have left my home behind, I am eager to see what opportunities this place has to offer and hopefully catch up on everything book related. Wish me luck! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Publication Date:  May 6, 2014
Publisher:  Scribner
Pages:  530
Series:  Stand Alone
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Synopsis:  Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books To Read If You Like The Mortal Instruments

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week you can read the title because I don't feel like repeating myself.  Honestly, I don't entirely trust posts like these!  To me, books are very individual, and just because you liked one doesn't guarantee you will like the other!  That is one reason that this is another short Top Ten Tuesday.  The other reason is lack of time.  School and life are both quite hectic right now and although I try my best, for the next two weeks or so my posting may be a bit off!

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare have very similar writing styles.  They have to, considering they did write a book together.  That isn't this book, but The Darkest Part of the Forest is certainly wonderful.  It has just the right amount of whimsy and horror.

Things The Mortal Instruments and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer have in common: angst, tension, and sarcasm sprinkled in among the horror.  

Complex plots and characters are two factors this series and The Mortal Instruments share.  I do not recommend if you dislike cliff hangers, although you are probably used to them after having read Cassandra Clare's books.

Remarkable characters, remarkable quotes--yep, just like a Cassandra Clare book.  The world building is also something I would like to compare, since both are fantastic.  Really, I have just mentioned this series so many times that it has probably become redundant.

I don't know what it is exactly, but something about this book reminds me of The Mortal Instruments.  Or should I say that The Mortal Instruments reminds me of Cruel Beauty, which I read first?  I don't know--just go read this.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication Date:  October 21, 2014
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Pages:  391  
Series:  The Raven Cycle #3
Genre:  Supernatural
Synopsis:  There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up. 

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. 

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost. 

Friends can betray. 
Mothers can disappear. 
Visions can mislead. 
Certainties can unravel.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Autumn TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week is another seasonal TBR list!  In case you didn't know, I am atrocious at sticking to TBR's.  Until I did the Summer version of this, I had never planned one before!  I'm a mood reader--but that's a post for another day.