Thursday, October 5, 2017

100 BOOKS in 2017

I DID IT. I've read 100 books. My goals used to be a lot higher but with a full time job, I've had less and less time to read for personal pleasure. But with 3 months left, I'll be well over my initial goal by the end of the year.

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1• Beautiful art
• T’Challa is king again after a long absence, his people are against him
• He’s finding it difficult to rule and find a balance between justice and serving his people as king
• He wants to stamp out the evil easily but his mother advises him it won’t be
• Aneka and Ayo are not giving up on what they think is right for their country, starting a revolution against T’Challa
• Nonlinear plot lines, hard to tell what is actually happening and the significance of it
• Reads too dense to be enjoyed by a general younger audience

This book fairs a little better than the last one I read for this conference but not by much. T'Challa is the most boring superhero in the comic. He's struggling to keep peace and order in his lands but he's doing a piss poor job of it. The opposing revolutionaries are more interesting but the author fails to expand on their interests and motives. I won't be reading any more volumes so see who comes out on top.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)My original rating for this book was 5 stars but I'm taking a star away. I found Harry and Ron to be very annoying in this book. They ganged up on Hermione more times than I liked. She was struggling so hard this year and was just looking out for her friends and TRYING TO KEEP THEM ALIVE. Plus, I thought it was adorable how her subtle crush towards Ron is showing itself to the reader. 

Another thing I'm noticing is that movie Snape is eons above book Snape. Book Snape is repulsive and awful. I can somewhat relate and sympathize with movie Snape more. I hate him just as much as Harry does. Book Sirius had less time to grow on me than the movie version. But I highly suspect that's because Gary Oldman's sexy ass was portraying him in the film.

The voice actor for the audio book knocked it out of the park again. His voice is so relaxing, even when he's yelling and describing the most stressful and action packed parts of the story. But I'm sad to say I skipped over some of the book towards the end. I grew tired of Lupin's storytelling when I just wanted Pettigrew to die. That scene felt like it went on forever.

Attack on Titan Vol 22 by Hajime Isayama


Attack on Titan, Vol. 22Finally, we get some answers. They're not the answers I was expecting but they felt genuine and not forced. I honestly don't think it's smart for Eren to keep any information to himself about bloodlines and titans. This late in the game, everyone's cards need to be on the table. At least with the people he trusts. After letting Commander Erwin die and choosing Armin to live, Eren should tell him and Mikasa.

Forgotten Bones-Uncovering a Slave Cemetery by Lois Milner Huey 

Forgotten Bones. Uncovering a Slave CemeteryThis is a great book for all ages, not just the younger audience it is intended for. I had heard about the lost cemetery in passing but had never looked into it. This book details each step that the excavation crew went through in order to shed light on who these people were and how they lived. They even hired someone to do facial reconstruction so we could see what they probably looked like. For anyone more interested in archaeologists and lost bones, this is a great read.

Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung

Lucy and Linh• Coming of age story
• Lucy is “at odds” with the new school and her classmates, what they expect from her and who she really is
• Diverse characters
• Written in letter format, Lucy writing to Lihn
• Not a fan of writing style, it takes me out of the story
• Fans of Mean Girls might enjoy the Cabinet (popular girls of the new school)
• Story picks up steam after Lucy is engaging with her new classmates
• Teens can relate to giving into peer pressure
• Lihn is a metaphor for who Lucy was before she got her scholarship, how at ease she was with herself

I was so confused for a while. I didn't realize until the very end the Lihn was not actually a friend of Lucy's. That really took me out of the story itself. I found it hard to enjoy it. The Cabinet is the most interesting aspect of the novel. Reading about how privileged these young girls are and how delusional they are with their self importance made me laugh. I thought about giving this book 4 stars but I wasn't invested in Lucy's journey. She's not very relatable.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Almost there

I am so close to my goal of reading 100 this year. I only have FIVE books left. I used to strive for 150-200 books per year but it started to become a chore. I never want my love of reading to fade. Besides my book club reads and the books I read for conferences, I read only for pleasure.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty GirlsThis genre is such a hard read for me. I always get overly emotional. I was the same way with the Alex Cross books I read. I don't like reading about real life violence, especially towards women. This is a dark book. Claire and Lydia are two estranged sisters that reunite after 20 years when they try to figure out what happened to their long lost big sister; and how Claire's husband plays a role in the mystery.

The author held nothing back. This book is graphic, going into great detail about women being raped and tortured and murdered. Listening to it as an audio book felt like an overload of information to take in. It made it hard to skip the unpleasant parts that were making me uncomfortable. But I stuck through and finished it to the end. The book started to lose me though. I was impatient for the final confrontation and the story just dragging on and on. But the concluding chapter made up for it. It was very sweet and I'm happy that this sad sad story had a somewhat happy ending.

Doctor Strange vol 2: The Last Days of Magic by Jason Aaron

Doctor Strange, Vol. 2: The Last Days of Magic
Shit has really hit the fan in this volume for Doctor Strange. The Empirikul have seemingly killed all magic and now Strange has to try and find any hidden magic in the most dangerous places on Earth. And the monster in the basement has finally gotten loose. Honestly, it's scarier than any of the Empirikul. That thing is definitely going to be an ongoing problem for Strange and anyone that comes across it. I feel that the art has improved tremendously from the first volume. But that's maybe because I have now grown used to it.

Prophecy by Ellen Oh

Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles, #1)• Slow beginning, slightly boring
• Kira is a dull protagonist
• At page 111, still waiting for book to become interesting
• Kira is obviously the character “at odds” with everyone around her, being treated like a monster because of her demon hunting abilities
• Very generic storytelling, more geared towards a younger juvenile audience than teens

And that was just me being nice. This book was boring and awful to try and read. It took me forever just to get to the halfway point of the novel. Kira is such a lackluster heroine. I didn't care about her struggles. She barely had any kind of character development and she's the main character. Every one in this book fell flat for me. I didn't connect with any of them. I won't be reading the rest of the trilogy. I don't want to be any more disappointed than I already am with this series.

The Real Mrs. Price by J.D. Mason

The Real Mrs. Price: A thrilling novel of contemporary suspense
I love when I can finish a novel in a day, without feeling like it was a chore. This was such a compelling story. The author did a great job of making me care what each character has to say. I didn't necessarily like everyone but I liked to read the chapters from their POVs. Marlowe is the star of the show; being the character I related to the most. Even with that less than desirable ending, I could understand why she did what she did. Not everything gets wrapped up in a neat little bow. I somehow wish this could continue into another novel but the story is definitely finished. How sad for me.

Y The Last Man vol 3: One Small Step

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 3: One Small Step (Y: The Last Man, #3)More and more, this series is growing on me. 355 is still avoiding her feelings, Yorick is still feeling the weight on his shoulders, and mother and daughter have reunited. A lot happened in this volume. The astronauts landed from space but the men died in the crash. But the lone female astronaut survived and she's pregnant with either or both of their babies. So man might still survive after all.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New month, New me

I am determined to read everything that is checked out on my library cards and to complete my reading for a conference I'm attending. It's a lot to read in the next two months but I'm determined.

Attack on Titan vol 21 by Hajime Isayama

Attack on Titan, Volume 21FINALLY, WE GET SOME ANSWERS! And those answers bring up even more questions. I was both expecting and surprised by who the Survey Corps decided to give the titan serum to. We're finally taking some serious losses again in the story, having lost two main characters in this volume. With all the action and turmoil and drama that just happened, I'm hoping for the next book to be calmer. I need to know what the hell is actually going on and I need it explained to me slowly and simply.

Walk with Me by JairoBuitrago

Walk with MeI don't think this is a very good translation. I didn't like the words. The message of the book itself is very sweet and the art is nice to look at. But I just don't like this book. I wouldn't read this at a story time. I think it'd fail to grab and keep their attention.

Tidy by Emily Gravett

TidyI'm a huge fan of children books that rhyme. The story was very cute, great moral lesson about moderation. The art was bright and colorful and held my attention. I'd suggest this book for a story time, preferably toddlers.

Assassination Classroom vol 16 by Yusei Matsui

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 16So, everything is finally all out on the table. Koro Sensei has told Class 3-E about his past, and exactly how he became to be what he is. The story was very sad and melodramatic. The last teacher of the class plays a very important role that I was not expecting from this story. It succeeded in making Koro Sensei an even more sympathetic character. I knew some of the kids would then change their minds about wanting to assassinate him. But it's only about half to the class that have switched sides. The other half still want to kill him. At this point, I feel like I'd cry at either outcome.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

END of Summer Reading 2017

It's come and gone and every public library can take a deep sigh of relief. Summer Reading is finally over and I don't have to worry about entering all my entry forms online. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait to see if I won.

Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree 

Flyy Girl (Flyy Girl, #1)I remember completely relating with Tracy. She seemed just as confused and lost about boys as I was. I thought she was such a great character for a young black girl to read about and see herself in. I still think this is a great urban classic but Tracy isn't really the best role model. I found her to be irksome and stupid in my second reading. This book is very dated with the slang and descriptions of wardrobe but it does an amazing job of showing that nothing really changes. A coming of age tale is relevant no matter the era.

The Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food FreedomI heard about this lifestyle change through the grapevine and I decided to check it out. It's a very interesting read and after studying it for the past three weeks, I've decided to complete it. My start date isn't until October because of upcoming vacations but I've already invested in some new pots and pans. I'm going to be cooking like crazy. I am very excited to see how this will impact my life. I wonder what I will miss and what I won't. I will say this; the very first item I'll be reintroducing to my diet will be red wine.

The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls
I felt like this book was trying too hard. I found Evie's relationship with Suzanne to be very interesting but the book buried it under metaphors, similes, and adjectives galore. Every thing that the author could describe, she did. It made the listening experience tedious. The voice actor used a breathy voice and it annoyed me so much. I hated to hear her speak character's dialogue. Her narration wasn't as bad. This book could have been better executed but there's nothing to do about it now. I can only hope that her next novel tones it down with the exaggerated style of writing.

Soul Eater, Vol. 10 (Soul Eater, #10)
Soul Eater Vol 10 by Atsushi Ohkubo

Do I really believe BJ has been murdered? I don't want to. He was a great new addition to the story and I liked his interactions with Marie. I wanted them to get back together. I have no idea what's going on with Black Star but seeing him get his ass kicked was much appreciated. He's becoming my least favorite character.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
And now I see why this is a classic. Dan Stevens does an excellent job of bringing this novel to life. His voices for each character weren't muddled or forgettable. He makes sure you know exactly who's talking and listening for every little detail. Detective Poirot is a completely engaging protagonist. He's smart, quick witted, and likable. The ending had me clenching my fists in eagerness to find out who killed Ratchett on the train. It was a satisfying conclusion and has me heavily considering reading the entire Hercule Poirot series. 

The Regulars by Georgia Clark

The Regulars
I really wanted to like this book. I was in the mood for a lighthearted read, something funny and quick to read through. This book felt like I was getting a lobotomy. It was just so boring. I didn't like any of the protagonists and didn't care about any of their issues. The style of writing and plot progression felt very juvenile. I've been told this is a great beach book but if I was reading it on a beach, I'd be tempted to throw it into the water. This is the author's first adult novel and I feel like it shows. I won't be looking for her other work but am hopeful that her next adult novel will build on her talents and have the right tone that she's looking for.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Summer Reading Part 3

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty So I was recommended this book by my boyfriend and I'm offended that he thought I'd like this. To be fair, I am a huge erotic fan and an even bigger fan of retellings of classic stories. This particular one did nothing for me. I was put into a bad mood from the very first chapter, when Sleeping Beauty isn't even awake for her deflowering. That colored the rest of my reading experience. I didn't care for the Prince and felt his arrogance unwarranted. I felt that he didn't heard the right to be making Beauty into his sex slave. Her Stockholm syndrome did nothing to endear me to her. I found her inner narrative annoying and tedious. The spanking scenes all felt repetitive and not sexually appealing at all. I just didn't like this book.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
I had listened to parts of this memoir last year but never fully through. I'm glad I came back to it because it's a great collection of essays. Lawson is beyond relatable. I hear her life stories and find little pieces of myself reflected back at me. She read her own audio book and her voice really brings the book to life. There was even a bonus chapter at the end, after the epilogue. I am excited to go back and read her first book.

A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog's Journey (A Dog's Purpose, #2)I was so close to giving this book 1 star but the ending pulled it through for me. I hated the voice of CJ and Gloria. Their character arcs were annoying and I found it hard to care about them. CJ had so many problems in her life, many self inflicted that it felt hard to have sympathy for her. The last few chapters were the saving grace of this novel. It finally comes full circle for the dog and he completely understands his purpose. I was not surprised to find myself crying when the dog's soul or conscious or whatever finally moved on. It was such a touching ending to the book series.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

This was where the story picked up for me. I'm fully invested in Harry's journey to defeat Voldemort. The audio book does a fantastic job of sucking me into the book. Harry is a bit more likable and the absence of Hermione was almost agonizing. It's so obvious to be now that Rowling was setting up the romance between her and Ron. He was the most the most distraught when she was petrified. The battle between Harry and Tom was epic. I wish he was the final villain instead of the damaged and freakish present Voldemort. It's always nice when the villain is handsome and charming. Makes you love to hate him.