Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Posthumously Published

I haven't made the time to read this past week. The only reason this book was finished was because it's an audio book and I could just zone out and listen. This book is part of the Book Riot challenge of 2018. This challenge was to read a book that had been published posthumously. I never read this book for school and it's such a well known book that I figured I was destined to read it.

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, read by Selma Blair
3 STAR RATING
The Diary of a Young GirlDiary of a Young Girl is a real life diary by Anne Frank who lived during World War II. She lived in a hidden annex of an office building with her family and 4 other people on the run. They lived there for over 2 years before being discovered and arrested. Anne’s father was the only one to survive. He published his daughter’s diary for the world to read. It’s an intimate and blunt piece of work.

Anne did write her diary hoping that it would be published and read one day. She even went back and added notes to previous diary entries. I found her words to be almost poetic in tone. She had a very mature voice for her age. I could relate to her feelings. The dire situation made them even more intense. It was literally life or death if they were found out. The uncertainty of how her life ended can be an upset. After reading her private thoughts from age 12-15, you wanna know how it ends. But real life doesn’t wrap things up in a neat little bow. This was war and people died with no record of it. Anne Frank was one of them.

I listened to the “definitive” version of the audio book. Selma Blair read for it. Her voice was so smooth and low that it lulled me to sleep several times. I do think a more lively performance would have worked better.



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Year, New Books

My goal, again, is to read 100 books for the new year. I'll be including audio books and rereads. Adult, children, or young adult themes. Sci-fi to mystery, paperback to e-book. Anything I put my eyes to counts.

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle
4 STAR RATING
The Love Letters of Abelard and LilyThis is a modern love story between two people who aren’t neurotypical. Lily has severe ADHD and Abelard has Asperger’s. They are thrown together after a trip to the principal’s office and Lily is intrigued by Abelard. She’s never met a person who could understand her. They mostly communicate through texts. It’s a very quick read.

I read the e-book version of this novel. The chapters are very short so the book flows quickly and easily. Lily is the protagonist and the novel is from her POV only. She’s a very relatable character. I found her voice believable. I myself don’t have ADHD but it read as authentic. Abelard was an adorable love interest. I loved that he didn’t make any apologies for who he was and just dealt with life as it came. He embraced Lily and accepted her as she was. Their love was such a delight to read. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a teen romance based in reality.







Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
3 STAR RATING
Milk and HoneyMilk and Honey is a collection of poems that resonated with so many people when it was first published and still continue to do so. It’s broken into four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. The author puts her most intimate and heartbreaking secrets out there for an audience to hear and hopefully resonate with. The poems range from very short form to broken syntax paragraphs.

I thought I’d love this book much more than I actually did. The style of poetry didn’t hit me in the feels like I wanted. Poetry is subjective and can’t be pigeonholed into one prototype. That being said, I didn’t feel like most of the poems were poetic or flowed very well. The tone and subject spoke to me on many levels though. I could relate to what the author has been through. Some lines stuck out to me and I wanted to yell out, “PREACH!”

I don’t know if I’ll read her other work but this was a delight to read and its worth most of the hype it’s received.




Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review for Best Women's Erotica vol 3 by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3a free copy of the book was provided by Rachel Kramer Bussel for an honest review

It’s the end of 2017 and Rachel Kramer Bussel has released volume 3 of the Best Women’s Erotica. This a collection of short stories focusing on the pleasure of women and how they indulge in their most wanton fantasies. The themes vary from role-play to threesomes to BDSM. There’s a story here for everyone.

I absolutely loved this volume. It reminded me how amazing the first one was. The stories are all unique on their own but flow well together. Bussel does a great job of ordering the stories in a way that lets each stand on its own two feet but also support each other, leaving the reader with a complete and absorbing reading experience. It honestly felt like starting with a tease and ending with a climax. Bussel lets the authors shine, not including a short story of her own. I’m assuming it’s because she received quality work and didn’t have to pick up the slack in any way.


Though I loved them all, my favorite stories were:

The Birthday Gift by Abigail Barnette
Weightless by Rachel Woe
Demon Purse by Sommer Marsden
A Love Affair All My Own by R.J. Richardson
Falling by Charlie Powell
Bibliophile by Dee Blake
Guyliner and Garters by B.B. Sanchez
Red Satin Ribbons by Tamsin Flowers
Making It Feel Right by Annabel Joseph

I’m unclear on whether this will have another volume but I’m hoping it does. I say this each time but it’s still true; I’ll read anything Bussel puts her hands on. She is a great voice in the world of erotica. 



Saturday, December 16, 2017

Catching up

I am way behind on updating this blog. I've been reading like a maniac so bear with me as I dump a shit ton of books onto this page.


How to Be an Elephant by Katherine Roy
5 STAR RATING

I mistook this as a picture book but it's still a very easy read. The art is beyond beautiful. The author has a way of writing that doesn't feel like an information bomb. It's flows well and goes with the pictures. I'd recommend for a classroom environment or to be added to any kind of teaching lesson plan. This is a great book for youngsters who want to work with wild animals.

Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy
3 STAR RATING

The art is beautiful as always. I would recommend this book for research purposes. It's also a great book for older kids who are interested in marine life. This author is on my radar now. I'll be reading any nonfiction books she releases.


How to Be an ElephantNeighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands


Windows by Julia Denos
2 STAR RATING

34002082I didn't really like this one. The art didn't connect with me. I liked following the kid as he walked his dog around the neighborhood. But the whole concept of windows and looking through them kinda creeped me out. The last two pages were adorable though. I'd recommend this for a finishing book at story time.
A Night Out with Mama by Quvenzhane Wallis
4 STAR RATING 

A Night Out with MamaThe art really brings this night out to life. I love that it emphasized how normal her family life is and that she just wants to have fun at the Oscars. It's never said where she's going but it could be a cool conversation starter for a parent to tell their kids who she is and what the book is actually referring to. I see this for an older child reading this on their own. It might also translate well to a themed story-time.
Doctor Strange vol 3: Blood in the Aether by Jason Aaron
4 STAR RATING

Doctor Strange, Vol. 3: Blood in the AetherI loved the different villains that were showcased in this volume. The weakest link was Satana and the stand out star was The Orb. He was just the perfect amount of evilness and ridiculousness. I felt that the story itself lacked structure or purpose. Obviously, magic wasn't going to be wiped out completely. I just wish the conflict had lasted more than a couple of volumes. It does leave Strange available to save Wong from Mr. Misery. Wong better not become a causality of Strange's mistakes.
Demon vol 1 by Jason Shiga
4 STAR RATING

Demon, Volume 1This is such a weird book. Jimmy can't die. Every time he kills himself, he possesses the next closest body. He comes to the conclusion that he's a demon and he's determined to figure out how he became one. The art leads itself to a simple style, letting you focus on the absurdity of the plot.
Assassination Classroom vol 18 by Yusei Matsui
3 STAR RATING

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 18This was such a filler volume but I liked it regardless. The cute Valentine's day scenes had me cheesing hard. I really want Nagisa and Kayano to get together.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
5 STAR RATING

Norse MythologyI just love the author's voice. It's great for character acting but when he's just straight up narrating, it's so smooth and soothing. I only know of Norse gods through Marvel comic movies. This is his retelling of the original tales of the old gods. Odin, Thor, and Loki are the key players and they're all well written. I loved each and every story that Gaiman chose to tell. Even though this is an adult novel, I can see parents reading a story or two to their kids. It's a book for everyone.
Columbine by Dave Cullen
3 STAR RATING

ColumbineObviously, the subject matter is a tough one. And it's even sadder when you think about how nothing has really changed, the danger has only escalated. Cullen does his best to paint the killers as plainly as he can, not letting what they did color his words. It's clear that Eric was the leader and the one with murderous intent from the beginning. Dylan dealt with his depression and suicidal thoughts in the worst way possible. And everyone else who was affected by these actions were given their voice in this book. I can see why this is read in classrooms. It's a conversation that we should always be having, even when we're afraid to.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
4 STAR RATING

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)This was a great conclusion to the Lara Jean trilogy. I feel like she's had an amazing character arc and realistic character development. Her relationship with Peter was so sweet and sad. I imagine it's very hard to love someone and want to be with them but the future doesn't cooperate with your plans. They are going to different colleges and Lara jean isn't sure if their relationship will last. She's also dealing with her dad's relationship with their neighbor and what that means for the family dynamic. I just really like Lara Jean. She's very likable and relatable. She doesn't change herself for her boyfriend. She's always true to herself and I think that's a great message for young women to see in their literature.

Monday, December 4, 2017

One More Month

There are less than 4 weeks left in the year and I am doing well with my books. I'm reading sometimes 3 books at a time: with audio, e-books, and hardbacks. It gets a bit confusing but it keeps my mind occupied. 


Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
4 STAR RATING

Salt to the SeaObviously, avoid this book if you don't like reading books that'll make you cry. It's a tough subject but very well written. Sepetys does a great job of drawing you into the story and keeping you engaged the entire time. She doesn't take too much time to build the setting since it's historical fiction. The first four chapters give a small glimpse into the characters' mind. And it alternates from their POVs. I am not the hugest fan of historical fiction but I really liked this book. I've heard good things about the audio so I'd recommend that over the hardback.






The Sexy Librarian by Nicolette Dane
2 STAR RATING

The Sexy LibrarianI'm not sure how I stumbled across this book but since it was free, I quickly downloaded it. The beginning was very cute. I liked Amelia and her inner dialogue. The sexy librarian in question, Esme, was not as likable. I knew right away she had made copies of the unpublished novella being held at the library. I was expecting a bit more drama from that situation. But this is a short story. So they live happily ever after. I just wasn't amused by their relationship or entertained much by the sex scenes.







American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2 STAR RATING

American Gods
Good Lord, this book almost put me to sleep several times. I am a fan of the show adaptation so I thought I'd enjoy the book since it's (usually) better. But this time, the tv show got it right. If the pacing on the show is slow, then the pacing in the novel is nonexistent. I just kept waiting for something to happen. The ending and the Coming to America stories saved the reading experience for me. Neil Gaiman read the Coming to America parts and his voice is lovely. I was very impressed with the entire cast of voice actors. They fit their characters well. I just couldn't stand all the talking and thinking and nonevents that surrounded the few events that took place.

The stand out god for me Horus. His "mad" voice was hilarious and confusingly sexy to me. I wish he were in the book more than he was. And that bonus story with Shadow and Jesus that Gaiman took out was great. Jesus had such a calmness to him. I'm eager to see how the show will adapt the book for season two. Here's hoping it'll be a bit more action packed. 







Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo

vol 11
4 STAR RATING

Great battle scene with Maka and Soul. They are so great together. I welcomed Black Star's absence. He's the weak link in the story for me. Crona has run away but I hope they come back soon. The hidden witches in Death City were sold out by Medusa who's now locked in DWMA's dungeon. Obviously, no one trusts her. But she just gave up Arachne's stronghold location so let's see what comes from that.

vol 12
4 STAR RATING

They just gonna stab my boy Ox like that?! I will not stand for this. Kim and Jackie better get their heads right before coming back to DWMA. I get that they're brainwashed but you can't go around stabbing my favorite characters. And speaking of the total opposite of that, Black Star shows up at the very end. He's such a dick, tripping all the alarms and possibly ruining the plan. If he gets his ass kicked next volume, I will not be complaining.


Soul Eater, Vol. 11 (Soul Eater, #11)Soul Eater, Vol. 12 (Soul Eater, #12)


Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
3 STAR RATING

Meddling KidsI've finally finished this book after starting it more than a month ago. Hell, I even let someone else borrow my copy and they read it before me. I just couldn't get completely lost on reading this one. The writing style was funny and very meta. The book is fully self aware that someone is reading it. The characters were all unique enough. Andy and Tim were the stand out favorites for me. Even though Tim's a dog, he's got more charisma than the whole roster of people in this story put together. The ending was the highlight of my reading experience. I wish the rest of the book had been as exciting.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr
4 STAR RATING

Slaughterhouse FiveI was a little lost at times but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Listening to the audio version made the story even weirder. Ethan Hawke did an excellent job. His voice was so smooth and hypnotizing. The actual plot of hard to explain to someone. The only thing I can say is just read it if you're looking for a strange read. It''l keep your interest the whole time and it'll be over fairly quickly.

To Italy with Love by Fiona Zedde
4 STAR RATING

To Italy with LoveThis book is a roller-coaster ride. With every story, the plot becomes crazier and more thrilling. The first story is the longest and the most frustrating. I did not like Chrisanne as the love interest and thought Iris deserved way better than her. Hot sex does not equal a functioning relationship. Which brings us to the second Story. When people are having sex surrounded by people they just killed, it's not every sexy to me lol. And then the final story just took me out of the reading experience. I was laughing at how ridiculous the tone was and at the plot itself. But despite all that, I had a great time reading this book. It's totally unique and I'll never forget about it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
5 STAR RATING

The illustrations just make me love the book even more. Now you have a visual for each and every creature.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Illustrated Edition