Graphic Novel Review: Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

Lumberjanes Vol 1Details:

Title: Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy

Volume: 1

Issue(s): 1-4

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Creator(s): Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis

Writer(s): Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis

Illustrator: Brooke Allen

Colors: Maarta Laiho

Letters: Aubrey Aiese

Released Date: April 7, 2015

Genre: Middle Reader, Action, Adventure, Paranormal, Friendship, Mystery

Synopsis:

FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX!

At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

First Thought:

It was the cover that drew me in. It looked like a mash-up between Gravity Falls from Disney and Adventure Time from Cartoon Network, granted I like the former way more than the latter but I wanted to give this a try. I was also intrigued by a cast of girls of different ages and personalities appearing as best friends in a camp for girls.

Overall Thoughts and Opinions:

First, I have to say that I love the setup, treating each chapter as a chapter in the Lumberjane’s Field Manual. At the beginning of each chapter (issue) there’s a little excerpt from this field manual describing a badge that is either gained by the girls or used by the girls within that chapter. The idea is clever and it allows the reader to guess what is to come in the chapter.

Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley were an interesting group of individuals. Each girl had her own personality and was easy to distinguish from each other. Jo is the boyish mathematician and Ripley is the youngest, and silliest of the bunch. April is the girliest of the group, constantly updating her diary. Mal is the punk, while Molly is the tomboy.  The minor characters were also pretty cool, especially their camp counselor, Jenny, and the camp director, Rosie, who were wonderful in their brief appearances. The design of each character definitely aided to their personalities, and I enjoyed the unique detailing of each one.

Now, let’s talk art. Some people have complained that the art style was too messy for them. Honestly, I rather enjoyed the art style, yes, it was messy but I feel like it added to the story. During the most thrilling or dangerous moments the art was the messiest, adding to the adrenaline rush of the characters, like when an author constructs their sentences more loosely in a similar situation in their story. I will say that the art style didn’t necessarily match up to what was on cover, but that’s because the artist of the cover was different than the main artist of the actual story. Yes, that’s a little aggravating, but I have seen it done elsewhere too, no need to whine about it.

As for the story, at first glance it appears that each chapter is an unrelated adventure. However, if you look closely, you can see the beginnings of a plot start to come together, especially in the last two chapters. A few people have complained about there not being enough plot, which I can understand, but this volume leaves a lot of room for the writers to branch out. I’m sure that there will be backstory to read in later issues to come and more story heavy issues later. For a first volume, I believe that this was a fine attempt at trying to draw people in.

Final Thoughts:

As a whole, I really liked Beware the Kitten Holy. If you don’t mind the messy, simple art style or the loose storytelling that isn’t heavy on plot, then this story is for you. If you enjoy a group of diverse girls in personality and skills, then this story is for you, especially if you like independent, go-getting young girls. If not to any of these, then this story may not be one of your favorites or well-liked.

Ratings:

Art: 4

While not the best art I have seen in a while, I definitely like it. The style has a sort of professional child-like appearance that I believe makes the story seem more kid-friendly than serious.

Story: 3.5

The story is a little hard to see at first, especially if you are not used to reading comics. Each chapter acts not quite like standalone adventures, but from the outside they appear that way. Towards the end you can see some of the things from the earlier chapters come together, and if you look close enough you can find the loose beginnings of a plot come together that will probably be addressed more in the later issues.

Overall: 4

Technically, the average was 3.75 but I felt like rounding up because I really enjoyed this graphic novel and I would definitely recommended it to people. If you’re looking for a graphic novel to start your young daughter with then I think I’ve got the one for you!

Related Material:

COMING SOON!

Weekly News…It’s Christmas!!!

Friday, December 25, 2015:

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! I hope the food is over flowing and the company is fantastic and loving. Enjoy the day and the weekend, where ever you may be! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 🙂

Updated Reading List:

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton (posted)
  • Escape From Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth (currently reading)
  • Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
  • Mechanica by Betsy Cornwall

New Releases This Week:

  • Thursday, December 24,2015
    • YA
      • Die Sache Mit Susan Miller by Anna Katmore
  • Wednesday, December 23, 2015
    • YA
      • Life on Base: Quantico Cave by Tom & Nancy Wise
      • Rose: The Awakening by Krys Kingston
  • Tuesday, December 22, 2015
    • YA
      • Dragonfriend by Marc Secchia
      • Li Jun and the Iron Road by Anne Tait
      • All Fall Down (Embassy Row Series #1) by Ally Carter
      • See How They Run (Embassy Row Series #2) by Ally Carter
      • A Whisper of Death by Paul Barrett
      • This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
      • Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
    • Adult
      • The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (Get the tissues out!!!)
      • Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog, Adder’s Fork and Lizard’s Leg: The Lore and Mythology of Amphibians and Reptiles by Marty Crump
  • Monday, December 21, 2015
    • YA
      • The Italian Word for Kisses by Matthew J. Metzger

Weekly News

Friday News Report: Friday, December 18, 2015

Wow, it’s been a while, huh? Sorry for the few weeks of silence. I just finished up my semester and I had to write a paper, revise two other papers, and study for four different science exams in the span of a week and a half. But, hopefully I am back now and will be posting reviews weekly, keep your fingers crossed!

Updated reading list:

  • Hidden Moon by K.R Thompson (Review Posted)
  • What we Keep is not Always What Will Stay by Amanda Cockrell (Review Posted)
  • Lost Stars by Claudia Gray (Reading)
  • Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

New releases this week:

  • Tuesday December 15, 2015
    • YA
      • Vision Quest by Terry Davis
      • UnBound by Neal Shusterman
      • Untamed (Splintered Series Companion)by A. G. Howard
      • Well of Tears (Empath Book 3) by Dawn Peers
      • Ensnared (Splintered Series #3) by A. G. Howard
      • The Falconer (Falconer Series #1) by Elizabeth May
      • The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
      • Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms Series #4) by Morgan Rhodes
      • How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
      • Bloodcraft by Amalie Howard
      • Brewer Archives by Meisha Camm
      • Attack on Titan 17 by Hajime Isayama
      • Maximum Ride Manga, Volume 9 by James Patterson
    • Adult
      • Three Searching Kings by Elmer Towns
  • Thursday December 17, 2015
    • YA
      • Onwaachige the Dreamer by Jay Jordan Hawke
      • Deadly Sweet Lies by Erica Cameron
    • Adult
      • The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton by William E. Leuchtenburg

Recap of Thanksgiving Week

Friday News Report: Friday, November 26, 2015

So when I was packing to go back home for Thanksgiving Break I made sure to pack two extra books because I was going to be on the train for 10 plus hours and I was sure to finish Hidden Moon. Well, it wasn’t until I was on the train that I realized that I forgot the book I was currently reading on the night stand next to my bed, five hours south of where I was, at school. So my reading list got a little wanky this week…Oooops!

On a different note, I hope that everybody who celebrates Thanksgiving stuffed themselves with good home cooking, turkey, sweets, and love from friends and family. The year has been rough, however, I am thankful for the people in my life (even if they may make it a bit more chaotic) and I am thankful for the opportunity that I have been given to learn the wonderful things that I have this year at school.

Updated reading list:

  • Hidden Moon by K.R Thompson (Reading pending…)
  • Abandon by Meg Cabot (Could not finish)
  • What we Keep is not Always What Will Stay by Amanda Cockrell (Reading now)
  • Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

New releases this week:

  • Tuesday November  24, 2015
    • YA
      • Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern
      • Promises I Made by Michelle Zink
      • Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin
      • Light of Day by Allison van Diepen
      • Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
      • The Magic Ring by Jenifer Hoss
      • Iron Zulu by Brad R Cook
      •  Black Heart by Holly Black
      • Pawn (Blackcoat Rebellion Series #1) by Aimée Carter
      • Queen (Blackcoat Rebellion Series #3) by Aimée Carter
      • The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders
      • Ignite (Defy Trilogy, Book 2) by Sara B. Larson
      • Going Over by Beth Kephart
    • Adult
      •  All of Us and Everything: A Novel by Bridget Asher
      • Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas
      • Murder on the Last Frontier by Cathy Pegau
      • Hope: Entertainer of the Century by Richard Zoglin
      • Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
      • And Yet… by Christopher Hitchens
      • The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman
      • Krampus: Shadow of Saint Nicholas by Michael Dougherty
      • The Truth About Him by M. O’Keefe
      • Stepbrother, Mine by Opal Carew
      • Sons of Anarchy: Bratva by Christopher Golden
      • Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell
      • Coal River by Ellen Marie Wiseman
      • Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon
      • Doctor Who: The Secret Lives of Monsters by Justin Richards
      •  A Vision of Fire (The EarthEnd Saga, Book 1) by Gillian Anderson

November 20, 2015 Updates and New Releases

Friday News Report: Friday, November 20, 2015

So this week is dubbed Hell Week by my fellow classmates at my college. This week has lived up to its name. I’ve had two finals, two tests and a presentation all within days of each other, so I haven’t had a lot of time to read, let alone write the review I was hoping to post yesterday. So I’m a little behind on my reading list. I also decided to take a book off that was already on my to read list, just because the book that I’m currently reading has a murder in the woods (that I was unaware of) and I didn’t want to read another book with the same theme so soon afterwards.

Updated reading list:

  • Hidden Moon by K.R Thompson (Reading now)
  • Abandon by Meg Cabot
  • What we Keep is not Always What Will Stay by Amanda Cockrell
  • Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

New releases this week:

Note: There may have been more books that were released yesterday, however, when I made this post I could only find a few that were coming out on Thursday at the time. I’m traveling all day today, so I actually had this set up yesterday before I left for break! Sorry!

  • Tuesday November  17, 2015
    • YA
      •  Everything but the Truth: An If Only novel by Mandy Hubbard
      • Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler
      • The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
      • The Game of Lives (The Mortality Doctrine, Book Three) by James Dashner
      • Strange Girl by Christopher Pike
      • Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey by Ozge Samanci
      • Calvin by Martine Leavitt
      • Until the End by Abbi Glines
      • Once Again by Liz Braswell & Cameron Dokey
    • Adult
      • All Dressed in White (Under Suspicion Series #2) by Mary Higgins Clark
        • The Pharaoh’s Secret: A Kurt Austin Adventure (NUMA Files Series) by Clive Cussler
        • A Very New York Christmas by Michael Storrings
        •  Warheart (Richard and Kahlan Series #4) by Terry Goodkind
  • Thursday November 19, 2015
    •   YA
      • Boy 23 by Jim Carrington
      • Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) by Elise Kova

Book Review: Dead of Winter

Dead of WinterWARNING!!!! This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in this series! So DO NOT READ if you haven’t read the previous books! You have been warned…

Details:

Title: Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3)

Author: Kresley Cole

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers     

Release Date: January 6th 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance, Paranormal

Pages: 303

Synopsis:

Heartbreaking decisions

Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory

Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned

There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first…?

Story Recap:

Last time on Endless Knight:

Evie and Co find themselves a new friend, Mistress of Fauna (Strength) or Lark. With control over animals, specifically a bird and three giant wolves, Lark is able to see through her animals’ eyes, and they will live as long as Lark lives. On their travels, Evie and her friends wander into the mountains, where they get kidnapped by cannibals. Inside the cannibals’ layer, they find out that the leader of the cannibals, and the one who turned them that way, is another Acrana card, The Hierophant, He of the Dark Rites. The Hierophant uses mind control to trick people into doing what he wants them to do, in this case eat other people, and as soon as they give in, they are forever under his control. After some time, the Hierophant tries to trick Evie into eating human flesh; however, Death comes to her rescue by snapping her out of the trance. Evie ends up killing the Hierophant, gaining his icon and the wrath of his followers.

As she and her friends escape the mountain, Death and Ogen show up. The Devil, causes parts of the mountain tunnels to collapse, though not before Death takes Evie away from her friends. It is then that they found out that Lark had betrayed them to Death, and helped him kidnap Evie, leaving the others to die in the mountain.

Death steals Evie away to his apocalypse-proof mansion, all the while she tries to figure out how to escape him. She almost succeeded in getting away; however, Death stops her and takes away her powers. During her imprisonment, she discovers Mathew’s betrayal: helping Death get into her head and telling him how to take away Evie’s powers. She also discovers her link to Death. The Empress is the only one that Death can touch without killing. They were lovers once, and they were even married in a previous game, until Death killed her for trying to murder him on their wedding night. Since that game he has been hunting her down, trying to see if she had changed and killing her when he found no love from her.

For three months Evie is trapped with Death, Lark and Ogen. For three months Evie tries to figure out how to escape and get back to her friends. In those three months, Death begins to see that she isn’t like her other incarnates and he starts to fall in love with her again. In those three months, Evie fights to remember and hold onto the love that she and Jack had shared, all the while she starts to fall for Death as well. After three months, Evie believes that life at the mansion would not be too bad. Until Ogen tries to kill her and Lark, causing Death to step in and steal the Devil’s icon. After that, Evie discovers that Jack has been taken by the Lovers and she is determined to save him, even if it means escaping Death.

Overall Thoughts/Opinion:

Holy ever loving Lord! This book was a trip!

Dead of Winter is like a runner that starts off a two mile race by sprinting, and then doesn’t really slow done, instead, at the end they just sprint the last 400-800 meters like a bat out of hell. You track runners will know what I mean! Anyways, this book starts off running. There wasn’t a recap. There wasn’t a slow build up from a jog to a run. No, this book just starts off running and doesn’t really slow down. I had the hardest time finding good places to stop so that I could go to class, do homework, or even sleep! At the end of each chapter I had to read more, to find out what happened next and sleep be damned.

If you thought the series had some pretty horrific scenes in the last book, wait till you read this one. WARNING! Dead of Winter has torture themes! I do have to clarify though; Cole doesn’t describe any scenes in which there is active torture. Instead, she describes all the torture devices, the area in which they were found, the horrible smells of death, people in the beginning stages of turning into Bagmen, all the blood and gore, but no actual torture. There’s one scene in which the reader finds a tortured individual, however, it is not that bad. Any torture that is mentioned, or even partially described, is through dialogue. I will say though, that at times I had to set the book down and just collect myself because the gore did get intense, at least for me.

As other people have reviewed, not a lot goes on in this book. Dead of Winter spends a lot of time developing the love triangle that appeared in the last book. You get to see Evie try to actually choose between Aric and Jack, and how they compete for her favor. You also get to see a lot of character development for the characters, even some of the minor ones, which was nice. I actually enjoyed reading more detail come to life in some of the other characters, and reading as bonds formed and fell. I felt like I had all the piece of the puzzle layed out, until Cole lifted up the puzzle box and threw the hidden pieces at me. Suffice to say, Dead of Winter adds some more intricacy to the plot of just ending the game.

Oh Lord, that ending though. The ending for this book is a dozy, like the top of the cliffhanger is Mt Everest level and there are birds pecking at your fingers. I’m pretty sure my whole building heard me scream in anguish and frustration. Anguish for the epic heart break in my chest and frustration that I have to wait until next July for the next installment. Whatever you do, don’t get attached to any ship!

Final Thoughts:

I’m not usually a fan of dystopias, especially post-apocalyptic ones that make humanity out to be a bunch of scumbags even in the face of extinction. I realize that we are scumbags as a species, I don’t need a reminder of the sick things that we would do to survive in a dying world. However, Dead of Winter and the rest of the books in the series are not that bad. Yes, they’re dark, and this one gets really dark, but the idea for this dystopia is rather interesting and creative.

I’m also not much of a fan for love triangles, but I have read worse. Both guys start off pretty rough and I found no love for either of them. However, as time went on through the series, especially in this book, you get to read about their transformations. No, they might not be complete flip arounds, but they are not the same assholes they started out to be. In Dead of Winter, you get to see how Evie affects them and changes them for the better.

I would recommend this book to anyone that loves dystopia, especially if they like The Hunger Games. While this book has different themes, they both still have a very gladiatorial feel to them, especially when you read about the Acrana Game origin. I would also recommend it to anyone interested in post-apocalyptic books; this one is a bit different from the others I’ve heard about.

I would not recommend this to anyone that doesn’t do well with neck-break cliffhangers, especially if the entire series isn’t out yet.

Rating(s):

4.5/5

This book is going unto my favorites. While parts of it were frustrating, especially when I thought I was going to suffocate from the testosterone poisoning or the ‘steamy’ scenes, it was a pretty fun read. Well, fun in the sense that you don’t stop running until the end when the author rips out your heart and chews on it right in front of you. It was an interesting installment to the series. While yes, it did not add much to the journey, the book did add to the characters (minor and major) and the nature of the game. Some people may find this book a waste of time, but I found it to be a wonderful, if gory, reprieve from my studies as a college student. I have always loved the idea for this story, and the characters are all so interesting and different, and after dead of Winter my opinion of the series hasn’t changed.

The only reason this book doesn’t get 5/5 is because at the end I had a hard time following Evie to her ‘decision’. I think Cole built Aric and Jack up to where you felt pity (and sympathy) for both of them, and could see Evie with either. However, I think she didn’t show Evie’s train of thought clearly enough to follow, at least for those who were rooting for the other guy.

Related Reviews/Books:

Coming Soon!

The Unlucky News Report (Friday November 13)

Hahaha! Get it? Happy Friday the 13th everybody! I hope nobody runs into any terrible luck today, I know that my luck can’t get any worse at this point.  Not a lot has really happened this week, just some new releases on Tuesday and cover reveal. See you Sunday for the next review, if chemistry doesn’t kill me first!

P.S. If I sound a bit scatterbrained it’s because of this head cold, at least it’s amplifying my typical scatterbrained self!

Updated reading list:

  • Predestined by Abbi Glines (Posted yesterday)
  • Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole (Review will be posted Sunday)
  • Hidden Moon by K.R Thompson (Reading now)
  • The Body in the Woods by April Henry
  • Abandon by Meg Cabot

 

New releases this week:

  • Tuesday November 10, 2015
    • YA
      • Winter (Lunar Chronicles Series #4) by Marissa Meyer (in practically every format)
      • Da Vinci’s Tiger by L. M. Elliott (NOOK Book and Hardback)
      • Prince Across the Water by Jane Yolen (NOOK Book)
      • Young Widows Club by Alexandra Coutts (NOOK Book, Hardcover)
      • Autumn’s Kiss by Bella Thorne (Hardcover)
      • UnDivided by Neal Shusterman (Audiobook)
      • The Adventures of Hermes, God of Thieves: 100 Journeys Through Greek Mythology by Murielle Szac (Hardcover)
      • Paladin by Sally Slater (Audiobook)
      • For the Record by Charlotte Huang (NOOK Book)
      • Triple Moon by Melissa de la Cruz (Hardcover)
      • The Robert Stanek Short Story & Novella Collection by Robert Stanek (NOOK Book)
      • This Way Home by Wes Moore (Hardcover, NOOK Book)
      • Flesh by David Galef (NOOK Book)
      • I’m Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil (Paperback)
      • Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick (NOOK Book, Hardcover)
      • Unforgiven by Lauren Kate (Hardcover, NOOK Book, Audiobook)
      • The Escape from Furnace Series by Alexander Gordon Smith (NOOK Book)
      • Soundless by Richelle Mead (Audiobook, NOOK Book, Hardcover)
      • Incinerator (Crusher Series #2) by Niall Leonard (Paperback)
      • Bloodwitch (Maeve’ra Series #1) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Paperback)
      • The August 5 by Jenna Helland (Hardcover, NOOK Book)
      • The Rogues by Jane Yolen (NOOK Book)
      • Ella by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee (NOOK Book)
      • The August 5 (11/10/2015)
      • by Jenna Helland
      • Hello? by Liza Wiemer (NOOK Book, Paperback)
      • Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath (Paperback)
      • Triple Moon by Melissa de la Cruz (NOOK Book)
      • Consent by Nancy Ohlin (Hardcover, NOOK Book)
      • All the Major Constellations by Pratima Cranse (Hardcover)
      • The Lost (Witch and Wizard Series #5) by James Patterson (Paperback)
      • Queen of the Night by Leanne Hall (Paperback)
      • Autumn’s Kiss by Bella Thorne (NOOK Book)
    • Adult
      • Anne Perry’s Merry Mysteries: Two Victorian Holiday Novels by Anne Perry (Paperback)
      • Hostage: A Novel by Kristina Ohlsson (Paperback)
      • Rules for a Knight by Ethan Hawke (Hardback)
      • At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen (Paperback)
      • November 9 by Colleen Hoover (Paperback)
      • Sidney Sheldon’s Reckless: A Tracy Whitney Novel by Sidney Sheldon (Hardcover)
      • Crimson Shore (Special Agent Pendergast Series #15) by Douglas Preston (Hardcover)
      • The 613 by Archie Rand (Hardcover)
      • Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi by Marvel Comics (Hardcover)
      • The Promise (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Series #16) by Robert Crais (Hardcover)
      • A Wild Swan: And Other Tales by Michael Cunningham (Hardcover)
      • Home by Nightfall (Charles Lenox Series #9) by Charles Finch (Hardcover)
      • A Christmas Escape by Anne Perry (Hardcover)
      • Legends and Liars by Julia Knight (Paperback)
      • Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente (Paperback)
      • Angel in Aisle 3: The True Story of a Mysterious Vagrant, a Convicted Bank Executive, and the Unlikely Friendship That Saved Both Their Lives by Kevin West (Hardcover)
      • A Moment of Silence: Midnight III by Sister Souljah (Hardcover)

Cover Reveal:

Out of Ashes

Five: Out of the Ashes by Holli Anderson

Release date: November 30, 2015

Publisher: Curiosity Quills

About the Book:

Their last battle ended with death and despair, but they have no time to mourn. One of their own has been taken and the Quinae Praesidia set out to find and rescue her.

In this third and last installment of the FIVE series, the FIVE discover new powers, make a desperate run through the Netherworld, land on an island paradise . . . and find that Brone, always a step ahead of them, is becoming more powerful than ever.

If anyone is interested, you can enter a giveaway for a free (signed) copy of the book or an e-book from the author! Just click here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/blog/it-s-live-cover-reveal-five-out-of-the-ashes-by-holli-anderson-giveaway-us-canada 

October in a Nut Shell

Outside of reading, October was pretty hectic for me with some major tests, papers, and traveling that took up a lot of my time. However, I was able to read and get some reviews out for people to read, even if a few of them were late…oops!

020This month I decided to read some of the mysteries and paranormal/spooky books that I’ve gotten recently. I didn’t read anything super scary because, well, I’m not the biggest fan of those! However, I did read some books that got me into the spirit of Halloween this year! The first two books of the month weren’t really spooky, instead they were suspenseful mystery thrillers! The Golden Day was an interesting read, mostly because it was the first Australian book that I’ve read. I am Princess X was alright, it could have been better. However, the story was unique enough to keep me reading! Existence was the first book that I’ve reread since starting this blog, so it got a little bit of a different review compared to the others. It has a very simple, straight story that was fun to reread, even though the grammar wasn’t the best and the research could have been better. Finally, Ghostlight was the last book that I read in October and finished literally on the Eve of Halloween. Spooky and mysterious, this book definitely got me in the mood without making me want to sleep with a light on, by far my favorite read of the month!

Just in case you’ve missed the reviews, here are some links to get you there fast!

026 Towards the beginning of the month I had a three day weekend, which my school calls Fall Break…Anyways, I had the opportunity that weekend to go visit my boyfriend and some of his family in the mountains. The cute little town they lived in was really quaint and they had a used bookstore that I just to check out. Like any other time that I step into a bookstore, I carried out a few good catches that had great cheap prices!

036This next haul came from the weekend in which I went hunting for R.C Lewis’s  newest book Spinning Starlight. There I found a few more books, including some neat redone illustrated fairy tale books (not included in the picture was my mom’s birthday present, which was a story on kid Arthur). I also picked up an interesting looking comic and the newest edition of The Nightmare Before Christmas poem, complete with a DVD of Christopher Lee reading the poem to 2-D animation!

My final boo041k haul was purchased when I was going to Barnes and Noble for a journal. I told myself that I was only going to get the journal and one book, Lost Stars…As you can see there are three more books in the picture. Let’s just say that my will is weak when it comes to marked off books and beautiful covers…

Here are some of the most anticipated releases of Young Adult fiction this month!

  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  • The Rose Society by Marie Lu
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
  • Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
  • A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
  • A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
  • Persuasion by Martina Boone
  • The White Rose by Amy Ewing
  • The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
  • Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis (Bought this one!)
  • Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith
  • Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass
  • These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
  • First & Then by Emma Mills
  • Girl Online On Tour by Zoe Sugg
  • Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul
  • We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean
  • A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern
  • The Storm by Virginia Bergin
  • The Sleepwalker (CHERUB) by Robert Muchamore
  • The Edge by Roland Smith
  • Endgame: Sky Key by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
  • Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

What books have you bought/read in October?

Book Haul!

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Heyo, everybody! I hope the weekend has been fabulous for everyone reading, I know mine has been pretty nice, even with the rain rolling in as I type this. So my parents decided to come visit me this weekend and they brought a few Barnes and Noble coupons. You know what that means? They decided to help me with my ever growing addiction to books, aren’t they just the best? Anyways, listed in this photo are all the books I got at Barnes and Noble with them, there’s a few newer releases and also some older ones that have been marked down a bunch, so BONUS!

Shown here are (in order, left to right):

  • The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tam
  • The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
  • Horimiya (Vol. 1) by HeroXDaisule Hagiwara
  • The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (Vol 1-2-3) by Hiromu Arakawa
  • Besieged (Book 1 of the Outcast Chronicles) by Rowena Cory Daniells
  • Bright Lights, Dark Nights by Stephen Emond

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After I bid my parents farewell after breakfast I went to the store to find some odd, but much needed, things. While I was there I found this comic that I saw last weekend when I went to visit my boyfriend. When I first saw it, I didn’t bother picking it up. However, when I saw it today I decided to look through and give it a try. Let’s just say, it flew into my basket for more reasons than the marked down price…

When I figure out how I’m going to review comics, graphic novels, and manga, this will be one of the first that I’ll review! And yes, that is a tiny plush wampa that was at one time a Burger King kids toy.

Book Review: Ghostlight

GhostlightDetails:

Title: Ghostlight

Author: Sonia Gensler

Publisher: Knopf Books

Release Date: August 4th 2015

Genre: Middle Reader, Suspense, Mystery

Pages: 247

Synopsis:

Nothing ever happens on Avery’s grandmother’s sprawling farm, where she and her brother spend their summers. That is, until Avery meets Julian, a city boy with a famous dad, whose family is renting a nearby cottage. When Julian announces his plans to film a ghost story, Avery jumps at the chance to join him.

Unfortunately, Julian wants to film at Hilliard House, a looming, empty mansion that Grandma has absolutely forbidden her to enter. As terrified as Avery is of Grandma’s wrath, she finds the allure of filmmaking impossible to resist.

When the kids explore the secrets of Hilliard House, eerie things begin to happen, and the “imaginary” dangers in their movie threaten to become very real. Have Avery and Julian awakened a menacing presence? Can they turn back before they go too far?

My First Thoughts:

So I came across this book while I was on tumblr, killing time before class. It was a prize for an online raffle and I thought that I would enter my name for kicks; the worst that could happen was not getting a free book. I honestly didn’t read the synopsis, I just wanted the book based on the cover and that it wasn’t a super scary book. I didn’t mind that it was for younger readers, I thought that it would be refreshing to read for Halloween week!

Overall Thoughts/Opinion:

In some ways, this book reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird. The similarities are not very deep, for they occur in different time periods and deal with separate issues. However, both books are set in the South with important sibling arcs, Coming of Age themes, and learning to find the truth about a person before passing judgement. While To Kill a Mockingbird dealt with racial prejudice, Ghostlight dealt with uncovering the truth of family history and the consequences of lies and miss guided hate.

I absolutely loved the interactions between the two pairs of siblings, because in many ways they reminded me of my older brother and I. One of the smaller arcs in this book deals with two of the siblings getting disconnected and the steps they take (and some growing) to make amends and understand each other better. I also loved the interactions between Avery and Julian. There was no love or attraction; they became friends because no other children were around and they both wanted to create something. In some ways, Julian acted as a mentor to Avery, allowing her to broaden her creative horizons and discover things about herself. At the same time, Avery helped Julian understand the consequences of his decisions and their effects on other people.

Family history has always been interesting to me. I enjoy tracing back my family’s history and figuring out who I’m related to, where they came from, what they did and some of the major events in their lives. So I was excited to see family history playing a role in the story, a plot driver and character development driver. Uncovering the family history really did add an element of mystery that I was not expecting when I started reading this book. However, this added element really did make Ghostlight a unique read for me. It was interesting to read as Avery uncovered some of the recent history, first for the movie and then for curiosity and finding the actual truth. I think it’s clear to say that tracing back the history and the steps that were taken to get to the big reveal really helped Avery, and even her grandmother, grow as individuals.

In many ways, this book was a few firsts for me. Ghostlight was the first book that I read that had a mixed family, character(s) created in test tubes, and a mother in a powerful, well payed position. Each of these elements added to the story, allowing the readers to learn more and understand some of the characters and their actions. It is also the first book that I have read in which one of the characters has a mental illness, but is still portrayed as a normal, functional individual with odd quirks.

I’m getting sick of books portraying people with mental illnesses as being crazy, destructive, and abnormal individuals that can’t function properly and are a danger to society. I see it all the time in the media; I don’t need to read that kind of ignorance in my literature too. Ghostlight really shows that while some people with mental illness can be a danger to other people and themselves, most others are normal people who just have to take certain medication and see a therapist occasionally. In fact, the other characters don’t know about the illness until later, they just assumed that the character had odd quirks. (Sorry for the tiny soap box…)

All this talk and nothing about the ghost yet! I enjoyed that this book didn’t follow the typical paranormal horror story. There were a couple scenes in the book in which I was expecting something along the lines of The Exorcist to occur, however most of the paranormal/horror parts of the story were just spooky or eerie (which I honestly prefer more)! Overall, it was a fun suspenseful mystery with enough spooky seasoning to get me into the Halloween spirit without making me want to sleep with my bathroom light on!

Final Thoughts:

For a story meant for younger readers, this book was pretty enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone who loves spooky themes, but not full on demon possession and unleashing hell and damnation on the cast of characters. Even though the book may be intended for more of a 9-15 year old audience, I believe any age would enjoy Ghostlight. The themes and lessons in this story are ones that people of all ages need to learn, especially nowadays when society seems to be shifting so much because of discoveries in science and engineering. There were good lessons in letting go, learning to accept yourself and others, and the power that truth (or lies) has on a person’s life.

The list of characters was diverse and really did seem to model the people and families of current American society. This book had many firsts for me, like portraying a mixed family, character(s) born from test tubes, a mother who held a high paying, powerful job, and realistic character(s) with mental illness. I also enjoyed the Southern setting, because a lot of books that I have read with a ‘Southern’ setting just make it stereotypical and fake sounding. However, Ghostlight just drops little details here and there that remind you that the characters are in Tennessee.

Rating(s):

5/5

At first, it was a little hard for me to get into the story because I’m not usually one for spooky books. However, it wasn’t long before I was flying through the pages and immersing myself into the story! Overall, this wasn’t a really scary book, although there was one scene that almost got me going. The characters were likable and modern, and the children were definitely relatable. The interactions between the characters were realistic and insightful, especially between the pairs of siblings. I loved that the story was set in Tennessee. The author didn’t bother with writing cheesy accents; instead she used idioms and colloquialisms of the area to really bring that part of the South alive. If you’re looking for a suspenseful mystery with enough spook to get your kids (or yourself) into the spirit of Halloween, then this book is just for you!

Related Reviews/Books:

Coming Soon