Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I did it. I have met my quota for the year. I have read over 100 books since my last post. Now I did cheat a little. I changed my goal from 150 to 100. I couldn't quite get to those high numbers. But I think I'll stay at 100 from now on. It's a more realistic and easily achievable number.

How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball
Adult (young adult?) fiction

How to Set a Fire and WhyI really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. The cover, the title, the bad ass protagonist. It had me very eager to read it and my expectations were very high. Unfortunately, I was left feeling a bit disappointed. 

Lucia doesn't have the greatest of lives but she has enough. She has a roof (of a garage) over her head, an elderly aunt who loves and cares for her, and is borderline genius. But the high school arson club sparks something in her that she didn't even know was there. See how that description sounds awesome? It doesn't get very exciting until more than halfway through the novel. The layout for the chapters are interesting but I found Lucia's voice lacking in passion. Despite the sometimes weird and stimulating situations she finds herself in, I was bored reading about them. I kept waiting for something to happen. And technically, nothing really did SPOILER since the last chapter was a prediction and we never find out if she started her big fire or not. SPOILER

But I still very much enjoyed Lucia and her antics. Shout out goes to her friend, Lana. She's a great side character and I wish she was featured more in the book. I have a hard time seeing this novel as a young adult book, even though the main character is a teenager. This is definitely for a more mature audience, which probably explains why my local library has it categorized as adult fiction.

Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol. 0: Don't Call It A Team-Up
Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol 0: Don't Call it a Team-up by Rob Liefield
A comic book mash up

So this was awesome. I've never read anything about Spider-Man or Deadpool. But when I saw the cover, I couldn't pass up reading this collection of comics. 

So it appears that both characters jump in and out of each other's individual comics. This book puts them together in a somewhat cohesive storyline. Each chapter gives a little background story, which I found extremely helpful. What took me by surprise the most is how annoying Spider-Man can be. I know he's a teen, and then at one point was actually Doctor Ock, but I didn't really like him like I thought I would. Deadpool was what I expected though. But now I automatically hear Ryan Reynolds voice when I read about Deadpool. If another volume is released, I'll more than likely read it. Mostly for more Deadpool.

Little Robot by Ben Hatke
A children's graphic novel

Little RobotThere are not many words in this graphic novel but that's what makes it so amazing to me. The amount of emotion and meaning that came through the artwork spoke volumes. This is a great book for visual readers, meaning they prefer pictures over words. 

I'd recommend this book to younger readers, probably 2nd graders. It's a cute story with very detailed art that will quickly be read in less than 20 minutes.

The Wicked by L.A. Banks
8th book of the Vampire Huntress Legend series

The Wicked (Vampire Huntress, #8)
Banks had really outdone herself with this book. It's just all around amazing. The big baddie, the fight scenes, the ending. I literally cried during some scenes. And I have never cried while reading this series. I kinda almost wish the story ended here, on such a high note.

Damali and Carlos have their work cut out for them when Cain decides to leave the Land of Nod and go for his father's throne in Hell. All the stops have to be pulled to overcome his literal reign of terror. The council of kings, council of queens, other squads, and angels are brought in for the final battle. It was gut wretching. Some of the deaths scenes had me hollering. I had to put the book down in several occasions. 

Everything was just awesome, all of the elements came together for an amazing story. I wasn't even mad at the over detailed writing style or how long the book was. From the first page, I was hooked. The pacing finally felt natural. I now have high hopes for the rest of the series. My standards are at an all time high right now.

And I Darken by Kiersten White
The first novel of the Conquerors Saga

And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1)Holy shit, this book was fantastic. The writing was lyrical. The characters were complex. The ending made me squeal. I am in desperate need of the second book to this series. 

The book follows the lives of Lada and Radu, the children of ruler Vlad Dracul. With that name, I was expecting a fantasy novel but this is just historical fiction. I can only imagine the amount of research and planning that went into this book. It's very detailed and everything means something. I probably missed out on some information with how fast I read it. But I couldn't help myself. 

I don't wanna write a long review, because I could go on and on with every little thing I loved about this book. I will say that Lada is a heroine to behold. She's not entirely likable but you can't help but root for her. Her brother is equally important but Lada stole my heart.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Waiting for Fall

Though it is technically still summer (and hot as hell), I am in full autumn mode. I am so eager to see the leaves change colors and for the weather to drop and I can rock my librarian sweaters again without sweating profusely. For pumpkin spice fever to take hold and annoy everyone once more. I'm more of a sweet potato pie kinda person but to each their own. Either way, I am looking forward to curling up with a good book under my covers with the heat cranking in my little bedroom. Some hot chocolate or mead will definitely be sipped on and fuzzy socks will be worn.

Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola
A children's graphic novel

Baba Yaga's Assistant     The art is definitely the high point of this children's graphic novel. It was both endearing and creepy. I love the dialogue boxes and font. It gave the book a playful vibe. The story was lacking depth, even for its intended younger audience. The angst of the main character didn't feel deserved and the resolution did not give me any satisfaction.

     I picked this book up on a whim, mostly for the cover and I'm glad I read it. It's a one day read that didn't completely waste my time. But I just wish it were better.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chohski
A young adult fantasy novel

The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1)     Finally finished this and and I hate to say that I was disappointed. The characters were well enough developed and the fantasy parts were great to read. But the heroine failed to make me care for her. I was definitely on her side in the beginning but once she's married to Amar, I found her unlikable. All of the issues she faces are her own fault. 

     The synopsis for the second book sounds to good to pass up though, so I'll be reading that one when it's released. I just hope it's way better than this book was.

Soul Eater Vol 8 by Atsushi Ohkubo
8th volume of the graphic novel series

Soul Eater, Vol. 08 (Soul Eater, #8)     I was hoping for a bit more action in this book but I'm still very pleased with it. The fight scenes with Kid and his guns were awesome. The little seed of doubt towards his father will definitely come back up again. And poor Crona can't seem to catch a break. Once it seems like they're getting settled, Medusa rears her big ugly head and messes it all up. I hope Crona will decide not to spy for her. She needs to die, for real this time.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
The One Maryland One book choice for 2016
A young adult novel about police brutality towards black people

All American Boys

     Here we are, sooner than I would have expected. Lately I've been dragging my feet with reading full length novels but I quickly tore through this book in just one day. And what a day it was. To read about Rashad's attack by a police officer from his POV made me uncomfortable, which I'm sure was the goal. You feel like you're right there with him, getting hit over and over again without a valid reason why. Then it immediately switches to a bystanders POV which is just as unsettling. This whole book is one huge sore that you can't help but pick at. I know that's a horrible simile but it's the only way I can describe it.

     Rashad and Quinn are the voices of this story, two kids that go to the same school but are worlds apart. One is assaulted to the point of having internal bleeding and the other struggles with what he saw and who he saw committing the attack. It such a captivating read from the very first page. The flow between the two authors never skipped a beat. It was clear that they have different writing styles but they never clashed, only meshed. The last chapters which was written in prose was the perfect ending to the story. These two characters finally connect and see that having your voice heard in a positive way can make a difference, even if it's only within yourself.

     I will definitely recommend this to anyone who's not afraid or wary to shy away from tough topics. All readers 10 and up should read this. It's real and it's completely relevant to the world we live in today.