Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016 #11 and #12 COMPLETE

I'M FINALLY DONE. On to the challenges for 2017.

READ A NONFICTION BOOK

Between the World and MeI wanted so much more from this reading experience. I expected to feel a kinship with the author, feel like what he was saying were all the things I've been thinking. And most of what he wrote was engaging and struck a cord with me. It just failed to connect in a meaningful and lasting away. Part of the problem was that I had to stop every other page and pull out a dictionary. It's a good thing to have an expansive vocabulary but I felt it didn't fit with what the book was trying to be. It made me feel mentally fatigued. I just wanted the book to be over. 
















READ A BOOK FROM A YEAR-END BEST OF LIST (from 2009)

Along for the RideI forgot how much I loved Dessen's novels. She is one of the best YA authors ever. Her books just get me. I loved Auden, she's a great protagonist. I related to her struggles of finding a balance between the person she thinks she needs to be and who she actually is. A summer trip to her father's helps her discover a new side to herself. She has to deal with social interactions, a love interest, and her parent's shortcomings all at once. It's a rough adjustment period but Auden holds her own against it all. If Dessen ever wanted to revisit her as an adult, I'd be down to read that. 
























End of 2016 Part 2

Happy New Year!!!


Soul Eater Vol 9 by Atsushi Ohkubo
4 STAR RATING

Soul Eater, Vol. 9I always take too long in-between reading each volume so I rarely remember what happened before. That didn't stop me from diving right into this one though. We get some action that's been delayed in order to establish the upcoming fight. The DWMA students still have a long way to go before they can be an actual threat to Arachnophobia and Medusa but they get better and stronger with each lesson learned. And I just knew Stein was gonna lose his mind on that island. I just hope he doesn't take out any of his comrades when he inevitably goes over to the dark side.






Sunstone series by Stjepan Sejic

Vol 3 
4 STAR RATING

This visual stimulating series is quickly becoming near and dear to my heart. Lisa and Ally are such relatable people. I find myself cheering for them at each milestone of their relationship. The side characters are cute too. Cassie and her husband are the definition of relationship goals. I just want Alan to find someone to be kinky and happy with. Hopefully with Anne, who definitely has a taste for the BDSM world.

Vol 4
4 STAR RATING

Damn it, this was the saddest volume yet. I know their relationship has a happy ending but it still hurt to see Ally and Lisa fighting like this. And poor Cassie stuck in the middle of the bullshit. Lisa and Ally better get their heads out of their asses quick. I need them to make up soon.

Sunstone, Vol. 3Sunstone, Vol. 4

Mind the Gap Vol 1: Intimate Strangers by Jim McCann
4 STAR RATING

Mind the Gap, Volume 1: Intimate StrangersThis book was never on my radar. It was on display at the library and I felt like the woman on the cover was calling me to her. "Check me out. Take me home with you." That was a few months ago and I've finally read it. I am so glad I decided to read this. Rarely do I read books that I know nothing about. This one was interesting enough it keep me reading. I have way more questions that answers of who wants Elle dead and why but I'm eager to read the other volumes and fond out more.







Getting Even (Getting, #1)Getting Even by Kayla Perrin
BOOK CLUB READ
OLD FAVORITE
3 STAR RATING

Sadly, this book does not stand the test of time. Rereading the novel for my book club forced me to revoke my favorite status and take away 2 stars from my original rating. The characters were just a hot mess and I didn't like any of them that much. The only redeeming quality was the revenge plots on their trifling men. I found that part of the story entertaining. I kinda wish I had kept this book solely in my fond memories of it. Which is why I'm refusing to reread the second book. I obviously still like torturing myself though, discovering there's another 
book in this series that I didn't know about and am planning on reading it. I never know when to quit.


Gangsta., Vol. 4
Gangsta Vol 4 by  Kohske
3 STAR RATING

I found myself a bit confused with the action scenes. I couldn't tell what the hell was happening or why. But I liked the little back story we got on Alex. She's by far my favorite character and I want more about her life.




Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned


Y The last Man Vol 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan
3 STAR RATING

I was hoping to be blown away and fully engaged in this graphic novel series. The word I would you to describe this opening volume is "meh". The build up to all the men dying was amazing. Book one gets 5 stars. But I felt the rest of the book lacked the momentum and slightly bored me.



Assassination Classroom, Vol. 12



Assassination Classroom Vol 12 by Yusei Matsui
4 STAR RATING

This Grim Reaper assassin is no joke. I thought Nagisa stood a little chance against him but it wasn't even a fight. He easily defeat the entire class and injured Koro Sensei. I'm pretty sure Vitch will realign her allegiance with Class 3-E int he next book. She cares about them too much now to turn back to the dark side.






Love and Friendship series by Shelley Munro

The Bottom Line 
4 STAR RATING


The entire group of friends got on my nerves with the last few chapters. I understand the need for conflict but everyone became stupid in a very quick manner. I was almost disappointed since I loved the romance between Maggie and Conner. They were a great couple. The other women in the friends group annoyed me to no end, except for Julia. She was okay and I'm glad the second book is about her.


Past Regrets
3 STAR RATING

This was a great follow up to The Bottom Line. Julia was my favorite side character from the first book and I was happy to see her get her own story. You finally find out who broke her heart and was the father of her lost child. It's rock star Ryan, who had short term memory loss from a viscous mugging. He's come back after Julia has jogged his memory with her divorce papers. I loved their dynamic but felt it was covered up by too much drama and set backs. The ending left me dissatisfied too, coming to a screeching halt. Here's hoping the last book will have better pacing.


Farmer Wants a Wife
3 STAR RATING

These are the moments that I wish I could give a book a half star, because it's not quite entertaining enough for 4 stars but I really enjoyed it. This book focuses on the reality show that's been in the works for the whole series. Susan is the leading lady with Tyler as her leading man. They have decent chemistry and I was invested in their happy ending. This story line sets up a new series set in the town of the "Bachelor" type show that Susan was on. But I don't plan to read it. I'm happy with the completion of this series.


The Bottom LinePast RegretsFarmer Wants a Wife



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

End of 2016 Part 1

At this point, I'm just trying to play catch up with all of these books that I've yet to post on my blog. I hope to get better at this next year :)

One-Punch Man by ONE
A regular guy decides to train to become a superhero. But one he does, he's bored with the results of defeating every foe with a single punch.

Vol 1
4 STAR RATING

One-Punch Man, Vol. 1I've had this book checked out for a while from my library and I'm just now getting around to reading it. It's for people who don't normally read manga. You have humor, action, and witty dialogue. I think it appeals to both young men and women who are looking for a series to introduce themselves into manga. Saitama, the protagonist, is hilarious. Even the way he looks and how people react to him made me laugh. I'm wondering whether this story will get more serious with each new volume. I'm eager to find out.






Vol 2
4 STAR RATING

One-Punch Man, Vol. 2This series is just weird enough to make me wanna read more. More than that, Saitama is really funny. I love his interactions with the villains, who are equally ridiculous. I have this weird feeling that Genos, the cyborg following him around, might turn into a bad guy. I hope I'm wrong because I like his character.









Vol 3
4 STAR RATING

One-Punch Man, Vol. 3
It just keeps getting funnier and funnier. I finally read the infamous scene that has now become internet popular, when Saitama bites a sword into pieces. I cackled with laughter. The story lacks focus but I think that's why I'm enjoying them so much. It's a light read that doesn't require me to think too much.







Sunstone, Vol. 2



Sunstone Volume 2 by Stjepan Šejić
3 STAR RATING

This volume was a little slower and heavier than the first one but still kept my interest with the story. Ally and Lisa are a great couple and I am so eager to see their bond turn into a lasting relationship. And since you get little flashes into their future (5 years), it's safe to say everything works out for them. The art is beautiful, which is a necessity for graphic novels. Sejic is definitely talented.



Every Kind of Wanting by Gina Frangello
A group of people deal with the harsh realities of having a "community baby"
ONE STAR RATING

Every Kind of WantingThis is gonna get a big ol' no from me. It was just...too much and not enough at the same time. The plot and characters had so much potential to be interesting and engaging. Even with no one being completely likable, any one of them could have been a worthy protagonist. Instead, you just get whiny and selfish POVs from every person involved in the story. There were no twists or revelations that shocked me. Everything fell flat. I'm sure I'll forgot about this book in a few days and I'm not even a bit sad about it.








Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
The fourth book in the Throne of Glass series
4 STAR RATING

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)One day. It only took me one day to devour this book, since I finished it around 1 am this morning. I always forget how amazing these books are. I get frustrated with all the names and places and events I can't remember and with how thick the book is. But around chapter 5, I was hooked. It's not just the core three anymore. Aelin, Chaol, and Dorian are still very important but the author has masterfully introduced other key players in this series. My favorite being Manon. I'm excited to see how the witches will affect the big war yet to come.












Rooms by Lauren Oliver
BOOK CLUB READ
4 STAR RATING

RoomsI knew nothing about this book when my book club picked it and it worked in my favor. I was pleasantly surprised with the theme and plot of the story. Two protagonists are ghosts but their voices are very much grounded in reality. I could relate to each character, even the ones I didn't like at all. Every person was vulnerable and held nothing back when it was their turn to speak. I'm a bit disappointed at the lackluster ending. I wish it could have been drawn out a little more.













The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
NEW FAVORITE
5 STAR RATING

The Sun is Also a StarDevastated, I am absolutely devastated by this book. I don't think I've cried that hard from reading a novel since The Book Thief. It was a different kind of crying though. It was a hopeful, joyous cry. A cry for how amazing love can be. 

The story follows Natasha and Daniel on the day they happen to meet. There's an instant connection that neither can deny. So we are taken on their discovery of what may be love at first sight. And if that wasn't beautiful enough, you get little snippets of the side characters who interact with the couple. You learn the past, present, and future of most of them. I was appreciative of that so I didn't have to wonder the significance of chance meetings and whatever happened to them. 

Now for the crying. I was able to keep it together the whole book. I withstood the great chemistry between Natasha and Daniel, the lyrical writing, the side stories that could have easily been their own novels. I made it through all of that, just to lose it with the last two chapters. I mean, come on. It was an onslaught of the feels. I'm still trying to recover hours later. This book needs to be read by every person. Any time someone asks for a recommendation, I will say this book. I will buy this book, which I rarely do. And I will love it, for as long as I have my wits about me.