Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Average Reads

I'm on another vacation (thank you Jesus) but I didn't really bring anything to read with me. Shocker, I know. I'm usually toting around multiple books so that I don't run into the dreaded situation of having nothing to read. Thankfully, I was smart enough to bring my Kindle with me. So now that I'm finished with my lone novel (graphic at that), I can read some of these e-books that have been collecting symbolic dust while on the shelf.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Great cover, great premise, mediocre delivery. I found myself sighing a lot while reading this, giving Willowdean a run for her money. I was completely exasperated with her. She was not a likable character. I couldn't find it in me to root for her at all. She was a shitty friend for the majority of the book and only comes to her senses at the very end. I couldn't see why anyone would like her, let alone two guys. I was hoping to find a kindred spirit in Will but was only let down. I hate how disappointed I am with this novel. 

The Awakening by L.A. Banks

The dialogue is so damn distracting but I really like the story. I didn't like this book as much as the first one but it did wonderful things with progressing the story. I found myself overwhelmed with all the characters, which I still love. They just were kinda all over the place. Damali and Carlos are obviously the clear stars in this series. The tension and chemistry between them is glorious. I can't wait to see them seal the deal.

This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

I was a bit nervous reading this one. I had read some reviews that left me feeling like I was bound for disappointment. I'm glad I decided to still give it a chance because I liked it way more than I thought I would. It's not really a coming of age story. It's just a look into a summer for Windy and Rose, mostly for Rose. I was way more interested in Windy but alas, Rose is deemed the protagonist for this graphic novel. I didn't find her to be very likable or relatable but I could understand where she was coming from. She's a young girl that's starting to deal with more adult themes in her life and is dealing with them to best way possible. The story was a bit bland but the art definitely saves this book. It's beyond anything I was expecting or could have hoped for. I'd recommend this novel just for the visual aspects.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Netgalley Fail: Review for Ruby by Cynthia Bond

I used to live on Netgalley, about two years ago. But I found it completely addictive so I cut myself off cold turkey. But low and behold, a lone book from them still hung around my Kindle. I don't know why or how but I felt a sick rush to see this uncorrected proof on my e-reader lol Unfortunately, it wasn't one of the better books I received from Netgalley. Either way, this is truly my final goodbye to the site.

Rubya copy of this book was provided through Netgalley (a long time ago) for a honest review
Okay, I know it's bad that I won a free copy from Netgalley two years ago and never read it. So it must have been fate that kept this novel on my kindle when it should have been deleted years ago. It came up as a book club read and I was still excited to read it. I should have just kept this a fantasy read because I was completely disappointed in this story. The characters were complete victims which I hate to read about. Ephram and Ruby were so weak, it made me sick. Eprham started to show some promise when he went to Ruby's house and started to take care of her. I liked him for the most part after that. But Ruby is nonredeemable in my eyes. She's a selfish person who I had very little sympathy for. I know that might seem harsh with everything that happened to her but I just couldn't get in her corner. I was glad to be done reading about her long, depressing life and would now like to forget all about it.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Three for Three

I haven't been reading too many book lately but the one's I have been (except for one which gets its own post) are golden. They were just amazing. I feel flush with literacy gold.

Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 11Deadman Wonderland by Jinsei Kataoka

This volume was only gonna get 3 stars. It was a bit slow and the story is obviously trying to wrap everything up before the finale. But that last scene added on a bonus star. Ganta and Crow are such bad asses. I can't wait to see the continuation of the fight in the next book. With Shiro and Ganta getting their memories back, I'm hopeful for a happy reunion between these two. This story has had enough bloodshed.

Soul Eater, Vol. 05 (Soul Eater, #5)Soul Eater Vol 5 by Atsushi Ohkubo

I knew Maka was gonna be stupid and try and control the black blood. It's just bad news all around because I'm afraid Maka and Soul are gonna get sucked in just like Crona. These battle scenes are beyond epic though. I knew Stein was a bad ass but to see him kicking Medusa's was too perfect. Here's to the DWMA students beating the witches and protecting the kishin from resurrecting.

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah Maas
Short story collection for the Throne of Glass series

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)It has been years since I've read this series. I don't really remember what the story was about so I thought reading the novellas would help jog my memory. It didn't, but it was successful with jumpstarting my interest with these novels again. And it's not for Celaena, who is not relatable at all. It's for the story itself. Maas has a beautiful way of writing that's totally engaging. I would be eager to read anything by her. Which is why I am planning on picking up this series again. Time and forgetfulness took me away from it for a while but now I'm back.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016 #1

My local library posted a 2016 reading challenge that I just could not resist. There are 12 of them, one for each month. You can do them in any order you'd like but I decided to start from the top and work my way down. I also got a good friend of mine to join in the challenge with me so I'll be posting his reviews as well. If you want to join in, I'll be adding the picture of the challenge to each of these reviews. 

The first challenge was to "Read a book by a Maryland author." This was an easy pick for me since it was already on my to-read list. My friend decided to read the same novel as me. It was interesting to see that we were both struggling to finish it, with me being alone in that feat. 


I had a hard time with this book.  It is outside of my comfort zone.

It's not that I don't like this book. Quite to the contrary, the descriptive and natural writing instead of inflated storytelling has kept me wanting to move through the pages.

I have seen the world that is depicted in this book. I have known wealthy-at-home immigrants whose reality of being abroad was challenging. This has given me insight into the complexity of that sort of rebirth. Americanah
let me peek through the eyes of those that see America sold as a origami, with folds and creases creating an beautiful prosperous image which originated from a flat, equal sheet. Only to find that it's actually a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces. You need to find those matching edges and fit in or risk being lost. No, not just America, but western society. The protagonists in this story find themselves under the vale of social equality and discover the lies, peaks and valleys, grays and in between s of this land of milk and honey.

I don't know if I would call this a love story as much a story of social commentary hidden in a fairy tale.

And that's where Americanah lost me. The highs were too sweet and the lows too shallow for me to suspend reality.


I so badly wanted to give this novel one star. It took me forever to read, bored me senseless, and failed to impress me at all. But this author has a beautiful way of writing. She definitely paints a picture, it's just a picture that I have no interest in. The story is broken down into too many parts and takes forever for the two main characters to reunite. I didn't relate to either of them. They were weird specimens to me. Obviously, I have no experience with being an immigrant but I was hoping to feel something familiar. Only times I were excited while reading was when Baltimore was mentioned. That always gives me a thrill.