This is a super short post today, but I reached 400 followers yesterday and I wanted to acknowledge that milestone. I very much appreciate each and every one of you who has followed and/or commented on my blog over the last three years. I never imagined that my blog would do this well considering my past attempts at it.
You are all wonderful people, and I do plan on doing a giveaway. Obviously I have to consider costs and such. But, I think that when I hit 500 followers, I will hold a giveaway for a Book Depository gift card. That way it will be an international giveaway, since Book Depository ships pretty much everywhere.
So that’s something to look forward to. I will start figuring out the specifics for the giveaway, and then when this blog reaches 500 followers, someone will have the chance to win something to read.
Again, thank you all so much for joining me here at the blog. I will be back soon with more bookish content.
As we are at the halfway point of the year, this tag definitely seems appropriate to post up now. I was recently tagged by Katie from Never Not Reading, which is exciting because Katie is awesome, so you should definitely go check out her blog. Anyway, I’m happy to be doing this tag, especially right before I post up my top ten reads of 2018 so far post–which is coming next week.
Okay, the rules for this are simple: answer the prompts. That being said, let’s just get started.
Best Book You’ve Read so far in 2018
Man, this is such a spoiler for my upcoming post. Plus, I don’t like actually ranking my reads. But, if I have to give an answer, my choice is going to have to be Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
Best Sequel You’ve Read so far in 2018
I have to go with The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco for this one. I am such a huge fan of this series, and I am prepared to beg for an early copy of the third book, because I need to know what happens next.
Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
Hands down, this one goes to Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis. It comes out at the end of August, a year after the first book. But I read the first book early thanks to getting an ARC at BookExpo, so my wait has been extra long, and the first book was my absolute top read of 2017, so I am ready to drop everything else I’m reading to dedicate myself to this release as soon as I have it in my hands.
Oooh…um, well, I think I’m going to pick two different books for this one, sadly. Those books are Ship It by Britta Lundin and The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara.
I guess this prompt is going to Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. The concept sounded interesting, but the fact is that I’m still not really a fan of zombies in books/TV shows/movies. So this book ended up being an absolute favorite read of mine and I’m glad I just decided to dive in and see what happens.
Favorite New Author (or new to you)
There have been so many new to me authors this year. For this one, I think I’m going to have to say either Claire Legrand or A.C. Gaughen. I absolutely loved both Furyborn by Legrand, and Reign the Earth by Gaughen.
Newest Fictional Crush
My fiance might take offense to this one. Actually, I jest, because he has known since the beginning of our relationship that I would always have new book boyfriends or book girlfriends popping up into my life. Fictional crushes are totally fine in our relationships. No judgment. Okay, so I haven’t really had many crushes this year, but I will say Eamon O’Brien from Now A Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy is probably the closest to being considered a crush.
Newest Favorite Character
Some of these are tough. In the interest of talking about more books in this post, I try not to pick something for more than one category, so for this I’m going to pick Cameron from Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner.
Book That Made You Cry and Book That Made You Happy
Without a question, both of these go to the Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins comic series. I read issues #4-6 in 2018, and these characters will always make me super emotional. I have followed their adventures for a few years now, and I have posters for them in my apartment, and so so many Critical Role t-shirts. So yeah, I’m a huge fan.
Favorite Book to Film Adaptation
In 2018, definitely Love, Simon. I thought that the book was good but not as amazing as the hype made it sound, but I absolutely adored the movie.
Favorite Post You’ve Done This Year
This is a hard one. Most of my posts are wrap-ups or reviews. Well, I guess I’ll go with the Bookish Academy Awards post. I have a lot of fun going through my previous year’s reads, and selecting the winners for each category.
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year
Hmm…I’d have to say the special hardcover release of Hounded by Kevin Hearne. Subterranean Press is doing a limited run special edition for the whole series. I pre-ordered this last year technically, but it just arrived in the mail a week or so ago, so I’m going to count it as a 2018 purchase. They should be doing the pre-order for book two very soon.
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To
There are so many books that fit this one. I’ll just choose a few.
Book You Need to Read by the End of the Year
So very many books. Have you seen my book hauls and TBRs? I need more time to read all the books. Obviously all of the books I mentioned in the last prompt, plus…I guess I’ll just toss these ones in as well.
If you have not yet done this post, then consider yourself TAGGED. I’d love to see what your Mid Year Book Freakouts look like. That’s all for today, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.
Wow, it is Wednesday again already. Where is the time going? Seriously, the next time I do this post, it will be July. That is still pretty crazy to think about. Also, I can’t believe that I have been doing this post series for 20 weeks now. That is pretty good consistency. So anyway, let’s just go ahead and jump into my discussion of the books I have finished recently, the books I am currently reading, and the books I am hoping to start soon.
I actually had a pretty good week for finishing up books. I’m not going to actually have a full review up for Dragons Love Tacos, but I will say here and now that it was an absolutely adorable book, and I will be reading the sequel. The artwork was really fun, and the story itself was rather amusing. I already have a review up for The Unbinding of Mary Reade up on the blog, and I will have reviews up soon for both Dread Nation and The Supervillain and Me. All in all, I’m pleased that I was able to start finishing up some books, because I was starting to feel a bit lazy for not having actual progress to report.
As for my current reads, I’m not making as much progress as I would like with these, but I am enjoying both. With A Closed and Common Orbit I am missing the majority of the cast from the first book, as this one is more of a companion sequel, and follows Lovelace the AI as she adjusts to being in a body instead of being an onboard ship AI. So it is slow going, but I am enjoying it. For my other read, I’m actually craving a bit more contemporary, and I also am trying to play catch-up on some of my NetGalley reads and reviews, so I’ve picked up Bookish Boyfriends, which follows a 15 year old girl who loves to read and thinks that romance in books (and boys in books) are better than reality. I’m only about 10 chapters in, and it is a cute read, but I’m waiting for stuff to really start happening.
Then comes what I am hoping to start reading soon. Obviously this is the end of the month, and I should be trying to finish up as many of my June TBR reads as I can. And considering I have actually only picked up one of the books I added to my TBR (that would be A Closed and Common Orbit), I have plenty to choose from. I think I will probably choose one of these two, but we’ll see how I’m feeling once I finish my current reads.
And I think that about does it for today. I hope you all are managing to fit some reading time into your lives, and I would love to know what you’re currently reading. Have a wonderful day and I’ll be back soon with another bookish post.
Continuing on with reviews for books I’ve read for GLBT Book Month, today I actually bring a review for a book I was granted early access to through NetGalley. As always, I must state that this privilege of reading the book early did not affect my rating or opinion in any way. Of course, a huge thank you to both NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for approving me for this book.
I was intrigued for this book because it had a cross-dressing main character, the promise of a same sex romance, and above all, pirates.
A clever, romantic novel based on the true story of a girl who disguised herself as a boy to sail with the infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Calico Jack—and fell in love with Anne Bonny.
There’s no place for a girl in Mary’s world. Not in the home of her mum, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy granny, where no girl can be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s livelihood—and her safety—depends on her ability to disguise her gender.
At least, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and in the midst of the gang of cutthroats, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate.
The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain, earning herself the chance to join the account and become a pirate alongside Calico Jack and Anne Bonny.
For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything—her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life.
Breathlessly romantic and brilliantly subversive, The Unbinding of Mary Reade is sure to sweep readers off their feet and make their hearts soar.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Here’s what I liked about this book: it started right in the middle of action, as pirates boarded the ship Mary/Mark was on. That was pretty cool, and I admit to being as intrigued as our main character was upon seeing a woman in a dress seemingly an equal with the rest of the pirate band.
But first impressions can sometimes be wrong, and nothing is really as it seems with this story. Honestly, in a number of ways I felt sorry for Mary, for the life she basically had forced on her because of her mother. Mary spent a majority of her life pretending to be Mark, and that constantly acting like a boy seemed to have altered how she thought and acted a great deal of the time.
Mary’s secret was revealed to the pirates rather early on in the book, and I was expecting that tension of keeping such a huge secret would have held out a bit longer, and the revelation left me wondering just what would happen for the rest of the pages.
Sadly, the deeper I got into the story, the less interested I became. Many of the characters felt fairly shallow to me, and I could not stand how whiny and wishy-washy Anne was. The relationship between Mary and Anne never felt like there was any sort of deep romantic connection, just two people who were together when they had no other options. Anne consistently went back to Jack, and Mary kept pining for her best friend Nat.
I wanted more action, more pirate-y adventure, and I certainly wanted a great romance. Sadly this book did not meet the expectations I had built up for it based on the summary. So I’m sure there will be people out there who really love this book, and who will connect with the characters and the story. I think overall it is worth a read, purely for the Mary/Mark story and portrayal. That was well done, and probably the most intriguing part of the story.
Welcome to another Manga Monday. I hope you all are enjoying these posts. I know I’m certainly glad that I’m once again starting to post more reviews and content on here. Trying to keep to a regular posting schedule has been good for me, and I’ve managed to get it to where I can write up about a week’s worth of posts in just a couple of days (usually over the weekend and on Tuesday evenings).
Anyway, it is time for my next review for this hilarious parody hero series. Let’s get started.
A manga series that packs quite the punch!
Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem-he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Saitama is now a certified hero! And with that title comes great responsibility-he’s required to perform one heroic deed per week. While Saitama makes the rounds to meet his quota, and incoming threat from outer space is screeching toward Earth…
Rating: 5 stars
So Saitama is now a certified hero…which means he just goes back to his usual boring routine, just waiting for something to show up that might actually be a worthy foe. What I loved about this is that Saitama clearly didn’t pay attention to all the rules and such for certified heroes, because he needs Genos to remind him of his heroic deed quota.
This leads our intrepid protagonist to go on a wild run through the city as he tries to find some sort of criminal activity that he can stop so he keeps his certification. It is much harder than he thinks, which honestly is just amusing. Because in racing around like a crazy person, trying to find trouble, he actually ends up causing citizens to panic, because his actions don’t appear to be those of a hero. Instead he seems like a nervous person up to no-good.
That is one of the things I love the most about this series, how it stands unique among the overpowered superhero genre because it is technically a parody of that theme. I love seeing how they subvert tropes or play along with stereotypes. It honestly makes it even more interesting for readers (or viewers–since I technically started with the show and then started reading these).
So, this is actually a series I’m surprised that I ended up enjoying and picking up. But I would definitely recommend this to others, because it is definitely worth experiencing. And I’m going to have to read some more volumes of this so I can continue to review the series. I need an evening of manga reading, which I might end up doing either tonight or tomorrow. It sounds like a nice way to spend a few hours.
Happy Wednesday! Although, it has been disgustingly hot and humid where I live for the past few days, so that’s not all that happy. But, today was my last day of work for the week, so now I get a four day weekend, and I’m hoping to get some more reading done, but this weekend is also my fiance’s birthday so he’ll take priority over my books.
Oh, and I should mention that I’m sorry that my Monday and Tuesday posts didn’t show up before today on my blog. I was wondering why I hadn’t received any notifications from them, and that’s when I discovered that I had scheduled them for next week, not this week. So they are on the blog now, a review of My Hero Academia, Vol 6 and a review of Ace of Shades.
Now let’s get into the main content of today’s post, where I talk about the books I’ve finished recently, the books I’m currently reading, and the books I’m hoping to start soon.
When it comes to finishing books, I managed to complete two in the last week, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. One I absolutely loved, and one I liked but it didn’t fully hit the mark for me, but that happens sometimes and I’m okay with that. I will be hopefully getting reviews for both Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, and The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara up soon.
As soon as I finished those books, I started reading another one of my June TBR books, and I am a few chapters in so far, and enjoying it. Not as much as the first book in the series just yet, but I’m still interested. Then I decided to start another one of my Netgalley reads so I can get the review up before the book is released on July 10th. So I am currently reading A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, and The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas. I’ve only read a chapter of Banas’ book so far, but it has the easy writing style of a contemporary…just with superheroes and villains in it, so I think I’m going to really enjoy it.
Finally, there is the most difficult part of these weekly posts…trying to figure out what books I think I’ll want to read next. I think…it might be these two books…
So, I still very much want to read this fantasy Three Musketeers story, because it sounds like a fun, action-packed adventure. Also, I just learned about All of This is True and it is described as perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying, a book I actually ended up really liking last year, so I’m eager to give this one a chance. Overall, I’m not sure if these will be my next reads, but they might be, so that’s good enough for this post now.
What are you guys reading right now? I’d love to know. We can talk about all the books in the comments. That’s all for today, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.
Another day, another review. I’m doing pretty good with keeping up with reviews for some of my most recent reads, but I still have a backlog I need to get to. It really comes down to time management and scheduling, so I might have to give in and just do a couple sets of mini reviews. We’ll see.
Anyway, today’s review is for a book I was highly anticipating, and I was so happy to get a copy of it in one of my OwlCrate boxes. So let’s just jump into the review.
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets… and secrets hide in every shadow.
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.
Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.
Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…
And she’ll need to play.
Rating: 5 stars
I very much enjoyed Amanda Foody’s debut novel, and am pleased to say that I loved this one as well. Some of the blurbs for this book compare it to Six of Crows, and while it has similarities, and gave me enough con and gang action, I don’t think it quite lives up to that comparison. Then again, perhaps this one is more like what SoC would have been at a slightly slower pace, because it takes time for the group to really come together.
But I also think I pretty much flew through this book and really enjoyed the characters and the magic and the story. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one. The atmospheric descriptions of the city and the gambling just sucked me away from where I was and transported me into the story, which I absolutely loved.
Oh, and I should talk about the magic a bit more. Everyone has two talents, one more dominant than the other, and those talents go along family lines too, so what talents you have also helps to determine your names. It was just a really interesting premise. And it was pretty obvious from the beginning that though Enne said her lesser talent came from her father and it had to do with counting, she also clearly is horrible at math, which makes everything about her a bit more curious. And you do learn more about who she is and what talents she possesses throughout the story, but I’m not going to say anything more about it here. You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Honestly, I’m going to have to read this book again, not just because I really enjoyed it, but also because I’m sure I missed some small details, and those may or may not end up being relevant in the next book. It’s going to be a long wait until next year, when we get the sequel, but it will be worth it.
Welcome back to another Manga Monday review post. I’m making a pretty decent dent in my manga review backlog…at least until I sit down and spend a few hours reading them, because I think it takes me about a half-hour to read one volume. You see my dilemma with these, right? I read them so easily and quickly that it creates a massive list of reviews to be written.
Anyway, once again I’m back to gush about students studying to be superheroes, with the next installment of the wonderful series My Hero Academia.
Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.
What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?
Midoriya has learned a few tricks from Gran Torino, but some things just have to be experienced to be understood. Even though he’s not ready, when the League of Villains attacks in the town of Hosu, Midoriya rushes to help Ida, who is engaged in a life-or-death struggle with Hero Killer Stain. Stain has some very particular ideas about heroes and their place in society—and he means to purge every hero he can find!
Rating: 5 stars
I love Gran Torino! Is that enough of a review for you guys? Just kidding. I have plenty more to say about the internships. It is really cool for UA to have this internship program set up for the students, because I think it is a great way for everyone to learn more about using their Quirks to help people and also some of what the heroes do when they aren’t out saving the day.
What was interesting about this internship story arc to me was the different ways of approaching the choice of places to do the internship. For example, seeing Ochaco accept an internship not to learn more about her Quirk, but instead to learn more about the physical aspects of being a hero. So, in her internship, we see her learning basic hand-to-hand combat and self-defense techniques. I think that is a great way to become a more well-rounded hero, to use this training time to learn more in an area where you are weaker.
Then you have Midoriya, who is interning with Gran Torino–a man who had trained All Might, meaning he should be able to help Midoriya learn more about using One for All. What is so cool about this bit of training is that so far we’ve pretty much seen our darling main character pretty much trying to imitate his idol. But this is where I think we start to see the seeds being planted for his own style in the future. Obviously he’s going to try and hold on to being just like All Might for a while longer, but I think learning to use his legs more will actually make for a really cool hero’s journey.
And obviously Iida’s choice in internship is a personal one. He just wants to work in the area where his brother was severely injured, and it sucks that he is not being the smart and responsible class leader we know him to be. But, I think this starts him down an interesting story path as well, one that I know will impact his decisions later in the series.
Sometimes these reviews are a bit difficult for me to write, since I’ve read and watched everything that is out so far, which makes some of these volumes feel like they took place such a long time ago. But, overall, I still think this series is fantastic, and I am excited to pick up the newest volume, which recently came out, so I need to get myself to the bookstore sometime soon.
It is review time once again, and today I can actually admit that I’m glad I didn’t get an advance copy of this book, because it would have made the wait for the sequel that much more difficult. This was such a good read and I finished it in a day because I needed to know what was going on and what would happen next.
Let’s just jump into the review.
Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.
When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.
A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.
As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.
Rating: 5 stars
The way that this story is weaved together just keeps you intrigued. It jumps back and forth from Rielle’s story to Eliana’s, and both narratives slowly start to weave together as you learn more details and begin to figure out the connections between the characters. Okay, to be fair, yes, I did figure out the connection between the two ladies quite a bit before it was actually revealed, but that did not make it any less enjoyable.
The characters were rather interesting, and both main ladies have their issues and struggles, despite living in completely different circumstances. And both Rielle and Eliana are strong and powerful in different ways, though they both have the same hint of rage issues. But I loved how complex they were because they felt so incredibly real. Their romances and friendships and alliances were all so engaging for me. I did not want to stop reading.
I enjoyed the world-building, especially considering that Legrand had to envision the same word a thousand years apart. It was fascinating to see what changes happened to the politics, the magic, the economy, and the people. This attention to the details is also what made the magic system and the trials so compelling.
Basically, I loved this book and I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy in the next couple of years.
We are seriously already about halfway through June. This feels like the fastest year I can remember experiencing. I hope you all have been reading some awesome books this year, because I certainly have. In fact, I am looking forward to sharing my top ten reads from January to June with you all very soon.
Before I jump into the actual content of today’s post, first I have to talk about a book cover I saw earlier today. Honestly, I don’t know how I missed this stunningly gorgeous cover, especially since it is a book I am very much anticipating, but now that I have seen it, I am so very excited to have it in my hands. Okay, so they had a cover for the ARCs of the second book and they ended up changing it a tiny bit before the official release, mostly the coloring. So that might happen again, but no matter what, I think the cover is beautiful and I definitely needed to take this minute to gush about it. The book I’m talking about is The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco.
Do you see why I am drooling over the cover? It perfectly goes alongside the other two books in the series, and I already know the story within will definitely live up to the wonderful cover. I’m excited to see where the story goes, though I’m pretty sure I have to wait until 2019 for this book.
So…I have been a bad little reader the past week. I’ve only managed to read something like 100 pages. Because, see, I’ll be honest…my fiance and I downloaded game emulators on our phones so we could play Gameboy Advanced versions of Pokemon. I’ve been playing that quite a bit lately, and it has been fun. But I feel a little guilty for ignoring my TBR, especially with all the great books I keep hearing about and want to get to soon.
But I have read about another 100 pages in Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, and I am really enjoying the story, so I’m hoping to keep going and finish that book soon. I also need to finish reading The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara so I can get a review up for it soon.
Okay, so that means that all I have left to discuss is what I’m hoping to read next. I think I am feeling like I want to read a science fiction story, so I’m probably going to pick up one of my Pride month TBR books, but then I’m also sort of in a swashbuckling adventure type mood, and I just bought this fantasy book that is inspired by The Three Musketeers, so it should be arriving to my apartment on Saturday or possibly Monday. With any luck I’ll fly through the rest of my current reads and then get through A Closed and Common Orbit so I can dive into The Traitor’s Blade as soon as I get it.
Oh, I guess I should just go ahead and bookend this post with another announcement, since I started this with that lovely cover reveal. I have been talking with my fiance, and he may be starting to write up some posts for this blog as well. Most of his will likely be manga reviews, but there could be some other content as well. He’s still trying to figure out his rating system and review style, so it might be a little bit before his posts start showing up, but I’m excited to have him join me here on the blog.
And that is all for today. Let me know in the comments if you are reading anything awesome, because I’m always looking to add to my TBR.