Scott Pilgrim Series Review

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so today I’m doing something a little different by doing an overall review for a series instead of doing six individual review posts. Besides, I read all of these books in such a short time period that this just makes sense to me.

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Summary

Scott Pilgrim is in love, but there are complications. Having to battle his new girlfriend’s evil exes was nothing he planned on, but love makes you do funny things. Follow his story in the complete Scott Pilgrim saga in this Scott Pilgrim set. This set contains all six graphic novels in one handy shrink-wrapped pack.

My Thoughts

Ratings: Vol 1 – 5 stars, Vol 2 – 5 stars, Vol 3 – 5 stars, Vol 4 – 5 stars, Vol 5 – 5 stars, and Vol 6 – 5 stars

Now, I will go ahead and get this admission out of the way…I saw the movie before I read these books. Typically this is not something I do, but my boyfriend really really wanted me to see it and as I love nerdy things and I enjoy seeing how excited he gets when it comes to these sorts of things, so I let up on my usual method. Of course after seeing the movie I knew I absolutely had to read the books.

And for once I may actually say that I preferred that I saw the movie first. I know that seems weird, but reading all of these after seeing the film just made all the scenes that didn’t make the movie feel like awesome bonus features at the end. I loved seeing what all expansions to the story and the characters were going to come in each respective volume.

I’ll also say that now I really want to watch the movie again, so I can do a compare/contrast of the books to the film. Obviously there was quite a bit that had to be cut out, and this becomes especially noticeable in the middle and later volumes.

But I had the greatest time binge-reading these the past day and a half. It was a fantastic romantic comedy adventure graphic novel with so many nerdy points to it. Oh, I especially loved how self-aware the characters were some of the time. Someone would ask Scott about his relationship with Ramona and he would tell them to read the first volume. Or someone would reference an earlier event by basically saying go check out volume three. It was just an amusing element to add to the story.

Okay, yes, a large number of the cast of characters seem to cheat on their romantic partners, and that’s something I’m not really a fan of, but several of them also ended up admitting that they messed up, or feeling sorry for what they’ve done and trying to change in the future.

There’s also a larger role for the parents in the graphic novels, including a rather amusing little storyline involving the family of Knives Chau, which I rather enjoyed. It was also nice to see some of the other characters get more of their own plot lines and more development.

Needless to say, this was the perfect way to start my week participating in the Make Me Read It Readathon. I’m glad I was able to jump into these first and now I can read a couple novels before reading a few more graphic novels. It should be a great week of reading.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this box set, or even the individual volumes (in either black & white or full color) from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Review: Sovereign by April Daniels

Hey all, Dani here.

I so enjoyed the first book of this series, so I jumped at the chance for an early copy for the sequel. Thankfully the publisher and NetGalley granted my request, and I got to continue the adventures of Dany Tozer, a transgender superhero. As always, receiving this book did not influence my rating or review. I will say that I’m sorry it took me so long to get my review up. I’ve been juggling a lot of books and a lot of blog posts lately.

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Summary

Only nine months after her debut as the fourth superhero to fight under the name Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-sized job and she’s doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it’s only going to get worse.

When she crosses a newly discovered supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there’s no trick too dirty and no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her.

She might be hard to kill, but there’s more than one way to destroy a hero. Before the war is over, Dreadnought will be forced to confront parts of herself she never wanted to acknowledge.

And behind it all, an old enemy waits in the wings to unleash a plot that will scar the world forever.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Starting this book off on the way to a superhero convention made my nerdy little heart happy. I love going to conventions and it was clear that Danny was excited to go. Being that she basically is a fangirl, her getting to see all sorts of heroes and such just roaming around this hotel/convention center in Antarctica was just amusing. Then again, that pleasant mood did not last for too long.

This was a book that I was looking forward to reading, because I knew there would be some interesting issues explored in the story. Having a transgender superhero as our leading lady allows us to follow her life and see firsthand how her life has changed and how she is affected by the treatment of those around her.

It is also interesting and from my perspective is fairly unique to have a superhero who struggles with rage and violence issues. Numerous times Danny refers to how much she enjoys beating up the bad guys, and how she sometimes holds back in the fights so they’ll last longer and she can fight more. I am so used to most of the heroes being such moral upstanding characters that this is actually a refreshing angle to explore. And considering everything Danny has gone through in her life, especially the past several months, it is actually a bit understandable why she acts this way. I just hope that April Daniels continues to explore this and also have Danny find a way to work through her issues and find some resolution in the future.

Basically this book did what I wanted it to do. There was action and complication, and character development I could understand. There were a couple characters that we met at the convention that I would have liked to be in the story more, but there’s always hope for the future.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to reading the next installment.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of Sovereign from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

First Date Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

I have several book tags coming your way in the month of August, but I’m trying to space them out a bit. Today is the first of those, and I came across this tag over at Marie’s Library so you can check out her post there if you’re interested. Anyway, this seemed like sort of a fun tag so I decided to do it. Let’s not waste any time and just jump into the questions.

1. The Awkward First Date – a book where something felt off. It wasn’t a bad book, but it lacked that spark for you.

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Soundless by Richelle Mead

Normally I am a huge fan of Richelle Mead and devour her books and love them. This one just missed the mark for me. I wanted a bit more from it, to delve deeper into the characters and the world, to have that interesting spark that consumed me until I reached the end of the book, though I would inevitably think about the book for hours or days after finishing.

2. The Cheap First Date – a book that turned out less than you expected

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

After reading the summary for this book, I was expecting it to be a bit more than it was. It was an all right book, but I found myself mostly going through the motions of reading it for most of the middle. If it hadn’t been for the ending, I would have passed on ever reading the second book. And I just saw on Goodreads that there will be four books for this series. I can admit that I’m a little nervous about that; it doesn’t feel like there’s enough substance to fill four whole books. I honestly thought this was going to be a duology. Maybe book two can turn it around for me.

3. Well-Prepared First Date – a book that was better than expected

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Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

I don’t read a lot of science fiction books, but I read this…I wanna say it was because of the Sword and Laser Book Club, but I could be wrong. This concept and the execution of everything just drew me in and kept me captivated through the end. I probably should have continued with the series, and I don’t know why I stopped after this book, but I absolutely loved it.

4. Hot But Dumb – a pretty book, but not so hot on the inside

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Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

This cover was nicely attractive and the concept seemed interesting, but it didn’t quite match expectations. I wanted more character development, and to delve further into the relationships between the characters.

5. Blind Date Book – a book you picked up not knowing anything about it

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The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

Okay, this one is such a difficult topic, because I never pick up a book knowing nothing about it. I can make assumptions on the cover or because of the author or the section of the library or bookstore it’s in. I also will at least check out the flap of the dust jacket or the back cover and read the summary. But this book was basically: there are a few girls and this is about the drama between them, because when you live so high up the only way to go is down. And normally that sort of story wouldn’t have begged me to read it, but I heard a few BookTubers keep talking about this upcoming release they were excited about, so I tried it…and I am now trash for this. I need to know what happens in the next book.

6. Speed Dating – a book you read super fast

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You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

I actually read most books super fast, but I could not put this book down. From the time Felicia announced that this book was being written, I knew I wanted to read it. I have been a fan of Felicia Day’s for years, and this book was just wonderful. Her life and career are such an inspiration to a geeky girl like myself.

7. The Rebound – a book you read too soon after a book hangover and it kind of ruined the book for you

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Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

I firmly acknowledged in my Goodreads review for this book that I read it right after finishing Red Rising by Pierce Brown, so this book fell victim to being the rebound following the epic awesomeness of that one. Perhaps someday I will read this one again and have a stronger like for it, but for right now, it just didn’t impress me.

8. Overly Enthusiastic Date – a book that felt like it was trying too hard

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Okay, so this might venture into unpopular opinion territory, but I just felt like after a certain character was introduced in the second book, that this finale to the trilogy just tried to hard to keep Alina and Mal together as a couple and to make things work out a certain way. I know there are a lot of people who like Alina and Mal together, and there are also those who ship Alina and the Darkling. For me, as soon as we met Nikolai, that was the winner in my opinion.

9. The Perfect First Date – a book that did everything right for you

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The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

When I picked up this book, I thought the space crew adventure would give me some Firefly vibes. Let’s be honest; I loved that show. But overall since I’m not typically a big science fiction reader, I didn’t have super high expectations for this book. And then it completely blew me away. I loved the crew. I loved the diversity. I loved the worldbuilding. And I am just super excited about reading the second book, though I’ve held off on reading it so far. It’ll happen you guys. Soon.

10. Humiliating First Date – a book you’re embarrassed to admit you liked/embarrassed t see reading in public for whatever reason.

I’ll be honest here…I’m not embarrassed to admit I like a book, nor am I really embarrassed to be seen reading a book in public. Now I will say that some of the covers for some romance novels are a bit revealing or awkward so I lean more towards getting those in e-book format so I don’t have to worry about it, but if we didn’t have access to e-books/e-readers, I wouldn’t mind reading them in public.

All right, so that’s it for my post today. If you have not yet done this tag, or you’d like to do this tag, then please consider yourself TAGGED. And let me know if you have done or will do this post. I’d love to check out your answers.

Review: All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis

Hey all, Dani here.

Today is the last day to vote for my reads for the Make Me Read It Readathon. The poll closes at midnight so please go here and vote now.

I am so excited about today’s review. This book blew me away, and I had not even heard of it before going to BookExpo. I guess I’ll start this post with a quick little storytime. It was the first full day of BookExpo and I had just gotten out of Maggie Stiefvater’s line and made my way to the other side of the hall to get in line for Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. I was lucky enough to get ticket #98 out of 100. Well, seated at the signing table before I reached Sasha and Lindsay was Mr. Katsoulis with his book, and I was asked if I would like a copy of his book as well. Still knowing nothing about it I said sure and was quickly given a nice signed ARC. Upon checking out the book a few minutes later, man, did the book synopsis sound so darn interesting. To the point where I read this book in June despite it having a late August release date.

So there, that’s my random little storytime for you. This book is so good and it definitely ranks as one of my top reads of 2017.

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Summary

In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks (“Sorry” is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She’s been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she’s unable to afford.

But when Speth’s friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family’s crippling debt, she can’t express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speechrather than say anything at allshe closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth’s unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I’ll be completely honest. This world absolutely terrified me. As someone who is a reader and a writer, having that massive disconnect from words is just something I never want to try and wrap my mind around. The fact that starting at the age of 15 you are charged for every single word you say and every gesture you make, is just an absolute tragedy.

This is a world where basically everything has been copyrighted and trademarked and so you have to pay the rights holder for using their word or gesture or whatever. Also, starting at 15 everyone wears a wrist cuff that keeps track of your words and gestures and charges you accordingly.

I think what is most horrifying is that practically every single person in this world is so sue crazy. Oh, someone said something you don’t like or they did something that you don’t approve of. No problem. You can send out an instant lawsuit via your cuff. The reality is that I see so many articles online in the current day with people suing others or suing companies left and right. This is a future that could happen, and I hope I never see it come about. I would not want to live in a world where I am billed for smiling or holding hands or hugging or kissing. I would not want to exist in a world where our freedom of speech has been stripped away and replaced with paying for every word.

So for me this felt like a scary possible future, and yet I was so interested in Speth’s story and how she found this tiny loophole in the system that ended up starting something nobody expected at first. It was interesting to read a book where the main character stops having dialogue after the first chapter or two. Everyone else tries to talk to her but because of her vow to not speak and because she can’t even use gestures to communicate, it is difficult for Speth to navigate the world. She can’t get into certain buildings; she can’t hold a job. So many activities in the world require a person to accept the terms and conditions, which of course requires verbal consent.

It was fascinating to follow this story and to see how everything unfolded.

This book was outstanding and it kind of makes me sad that I did not see this pop up in more BEA/BookCon book hauls from BookTubers. This is a story I think everyone needs to read; it would definitely make an interesting addition to school curricula across the nation. Just do yourself a favor and read this book.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order your own copy of All Rights Reserved from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. This amazing book hits shelves on August 29, 2017.

Review: The ABCs of RPGs by Ivan Van Norman

Hey all, Dani here.

First I need to say that I still need votes for what I’m reading next week for the Make Me Read It Readathon. Go here and vote now. Poll closes at the end of the day on Friday.

All right, so I read this book originally last year, and actually included it in one of my top reads of 2016 posts, but I never gave it a full-length review. Well, my boyfriend is a large number of episodes behind on the show Critical Role and on the episode he just reached they mentioned a Kickstarter for this adorable children’s book. I happened to mention that I had backed the book and it was so cute. Naturally that meant my boyfriend wanted to read it.

Basically that led to me needing to read it again. So, I might as well review it here.

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Summary

Welcome, Guardians and Tiny Adventurers everywhere! Grab your Dice and LET S READ!
While there are a few RPGs made for younglings, rarely has the world of Role Playing Games been explored in that magical power that a children’s book has with kids. The ABCs of RPGs children’s book is a fun way to show our loved ones the fantastic and wonderful parts of what makes role-playing games so great. The ABCs of RPGs Children’s Book is a 28 page Full Color Hardback that explores wonderful concepts from Adventure to Zeal!

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

This is seriously one of the cutest books I’ve read, and I love that there is an RPG based book for helping geek children learn the alphabet. Or it’s a great book for geeky people in general. I am 29 years old and have no plans for children in the immediate future, but as soon as I learned about this book’s Kickstarter campaign, I had to get a copy.

The artwork is adorable and often features children dressed up in fantasy costumes, playing and pretending to go on adventures and quests. There are a number of fantastical beasts in the book as well, from dragons and fairies, to owlbears and more.

I personally think this would be a great book for parents to read to their kids, and then as the kids start learning to read themselves, they can read this on their own.

It talks about friendship and imagination and adventure, and when I pick it up to read it, I actually can’t resist reading it out loud.

Oh, and I should also say that there is an activity book that can be purchased as well and it has coloring pages and puzzles and shape matching games and all sorts of cute activities that fit with the RPG theme of the book. I have both in my personal library and look forward to the day that I can introduce it to my children, whenever that day comes.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this lovely book from Amazon or from the publisher: Hunter’s Books.

Review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, here is something you don’t see me review all that often on this blog…a collection of poetry. I continuously tell myself that I would like to read more poems, and yet I get sucked into the land of novels and each year I’m lucky to read only one or two books of poetry.

This particular choice was due to the recommendation of actress Ashley Johnson. She spoke very highly of Milk and Honey during the episode she hosted of Geek and Sundry’s Signal Boost. I saw it in the grocery store and decided to pick it up.

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Summary

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars!

Actually I give this all the stars in the sky. Seriously, so many of these poems were very short, only a couple lines with basically around twenty words, but man…they packed quite the punch. A few times I had to pause and rest the book on my lap while I just stared out into space, letting the words sink into my being.

Honestly trying to formulate the words to write up a proper review is difficult for me. I marked so many of these poems as ones that particularly resonated within me. Several I had to read out loud to my boyfriend. It would have been a good idea to sit down with post-it notes and properly mark some of my favorites. I’ll need to do that soon enough.

This collection of poems is divided into four sections: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. Included with the poetry is artwork drawn by the author as well. The loving and the healing were the sections I connected most with at this point in my life, but they were all certainly worth the read.

Overall this was just really well written, and though I read this book rather quickly, I know I’ll pick it up again and reread it. Milk and Honey is a book that begs to be read over and over.

I will definitely be checking out more from Rupi Kaur in the future.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this collection of poetry from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

July Wrap Up and August TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow. Seriously, I cannot believe that July is over already. This year is just flying by. Also, fun fact, today is my birthday! Yay…so I guess you all know that my August book haul is probably going to be a decent sized one, because I get a lot of books and such basically with any event where gifts are expected. Actually, at the time of this post’s release I’m probably sitting in the apartment my boyfriend and I share just reading. I took today off work so I can relax and just enjoy the day.

Anyway, July was a pretty good month of reading, so let’s just jump into the wrap up portion of this post. As per usual, I will link to my reviews where applicable. Oh, and I started my month by reading a handful of book samplers so you can check out that mini review here.

Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead (5 stars)

Lucky in Love by Kasie West (4.5 stars)

First Watch by Dale Lucas (5 stars)

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody (5 stars)

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw (4.5 stars)

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor (4.5 stars)

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly (5 stars)

Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout (3.5 or 4 stars…still deciding on this one)

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz (5 stars)

No Second Chances by Kate Evangelista (5 stars)

Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting by Matthew Mercer (5 stars)

Sandman, Vol 6: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman (5 stars)

Ms. Marvel, Vol 6: Civil War II by G. Willow Wilson (5 stars)

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 5: Imperial Phase I by Kieron Gillen (5 stars)

Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum (5 stars)

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger (5 stars)

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (4.5 stars) – review coming soon

Sovereign by April Daniels (5 stars) – review coming soon

Whew…see, that’s a pretty hefty list of books read in one month. This high total is partly thanks to participating in two different readathons in July: the 24 Hourathon and the Biannual Bibliothon.

Moving on to my book haul portion, which I like to do in photos. Here’s where I should also toss in a photo of my July OwlCrate unboxing. And I thought I was just going to have the one photo of books (top left), but my birthday book haul arrived a couple days earlier than I expected so the photo on the right is my birthday present to myself. I have finally completed my Sandman collection and I look forward to reading it, plus my boyfriend got me to watch Scott Pilgrim vs the World the other day so now I really want to read the whole series of that as well. Oh, and since The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks is finally out in paperback, I have the whole series and hope to maybe marathon them by the end of the year.

Finally, it’s time to introduce my August TBR list. Again, I have a pretty packed reading schedule for the month. I like knowing what all books I need to read and everything, but I kind of miss selecting books based on what I’m in the mood for. But I put myself in this position by accepting so many ARCs and e-galleys.

Then again, a few of these books are Middle Grade, which tend to be a bit faster reads for me so I may be able to squeeze in some bonus fun reads this month. We’ll see what happens. With signing up for the Make Me Read It Readathon and wanting to read a number of the books I just hauled, I’m thinking August will be a jam packed month. Speaking of that readathon, do me a favor and check out that post here and vote on what books you think I really need to read for it–because, yes, you can vote for more than one option.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back again soon with more reviews, tags, and perhaps some other random posts. If you feel like commenting below, let me know what books you read in July, or what books you’re looking forward to reading in August.

Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

Hey all, Dani here.

I picked up this book to read it for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon because one of the challenges was to read a book you got because of the cover. Well, it was the cover that made me want to know more about the book and then the summary made me go “yeah, I want to read that now.” Thankfully this book did not disappoint at all. Come on, it features magical alcoholic beverages.

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Summary

In this sharp and funny urban fantasy novel, booze is magic, demons are real, and millennial Bailey Chen joins a band of monster-fighting Chicago bartenders instead of finding a “real” post-college job.

Bailey Chen is fresh out of college with all the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and an awkward relationship with Zane, the old friend she kinda-sorta hooked up with during high school.

But when Zane introduces Bailey to his monster-fighting bartender friends, her demons become a lot more literal. It turns out that evil creatures stalk the city streets after hours, and they can be hunted only with the help of magically mixed cocktails: vodka grants super-strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and rum lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy. But will all these powers be enough for Bailey to halt a mysterious rash of gruesome deaths? And what will she do when the safety of a “real world” job beckons?

This sharp and funny urban fantasy is perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and grown-up readers of Harry Potter. Includes 14 recipes from a book of ancient cocktail lore.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I loved that this book featured a Chinese-American protagonist, and more than that I loved that she was a recent college graduate trying to figure out her new adult life. That was an aspect I related to so much, because even though I graduated with a Master’s degree almost six years ago, I still find myself struggling sometimes, and finding jobs in my career field can be difficult.

Thanks to her old friend Zane, Bailey is working as a barback at the Nightshade Lounge. One night he leaves her to finish closing up and she finds this secret compartment of liquor and decides to make herself a screwdriver. On her way home she finds herself confronted with a monster and fights it off with super-strength that she didn’t realize she had. As it turns out, a properly made Screwdriver grants that power unto the drinker. And so Bailey is brought into the world of monster-hunting bartenders.

Let me just say that this concept was absolutely fascinating to me. I would totally read a whole series dedicated to this concept because it was nicely developed with all sorts of history to the different components of mixed drinks and everything.

As Bailey trains with Zane and his bartender friends–who are all really interesting and I’d like to read more about them at some point–more secrets are revealed and it seems that not everything is as simple as it initially appeared. Also, there’s this search for the proper recipe and components for a Long Island Iced Tea, because if made the right way, the one who drinks it can become immortal.

There was nice action in this story and the intrigue/discovery revolving around these monsters and some details about the Council for the bartenders was just fascinating to me. Any time I had to pause in my reading for a little while, I basically started counting down until I could read again. I flew through this book.

Will the monsters overtake Chicago? Will the Long Island Iced Tea be mastered? Will Bailey continue bartending or find a “real” job? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.


Summer Biannual Bibliothon Wrap Up

I read The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 5: Imperial Phase I by Kieron Gillen, Sandman, Vol 6: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman, Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum, Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger, and Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh during the Readathon.

Challenges completed: Group Read (Flame in the Mist), Book-to-Movie Adaptation and Banned Book (Dead Poets Society), Cover Buy (Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge), Throwback Challenge: Graphic Novel (Sandman), and LGBTQIA+/Emma’s Favorite Genre (The Wicked + The Divine).

So, though I didn’t read all of the books I wanted to or listed on my TBR, I did manage to read a decent number of books and complete the challenges.

Make Me Read It Readathon

Hey all, Dani here.

I know, I know…another readathon, Dani? You guys, I really like doing readathons because they help motivate me to read a little more than normal. Now, I do tend to have better results with 24 Hour Readathons than I do with week-long events, but that’s not going to stop me from participating. Also, this one just sounds really interesting.

And I’ll need your help to participate so stick around to find out how you can help determine what I’m going to read.

Okay, so I just started following Nika (Bookster) and saw this post about an upcoming readathon. It is being hosted by Val (The Innocent Smiley) and Ely (Tea and Titles) and will be taking place August 6th through August 13th.

Now, I like the interactive component of this readathon because it makes for a slightly different experience from any other readathon. Let me explain by giving the details about the Make Me Read It Readathon as described by Val and Ely.

Look at the books you own, either physical, e-book or ones you’ve borrowed from the library and pick out a few you really want to read, or feel like you should read. It’s up to you how many you pick, personally I’d pick a few more than you expect to be able to read in a week. Example: if you think you’ll only read two, pick out five books or if you think you can read seven, pick out ten.

Make a list of these books on your blog, or make a video, or a Goodreads shelf or post a picture on Instagram—whatever is easiest for you. Then get friends, other bloggers/booktubers/bookstagrammers etc. to vote on which books you HAVE to read.

When the readathon comes along, you read the books in the order of most votes. For example, if one book gets 10 votes—you read that first, then the one that got 7 and so on. If there’s a tie, then it’s your preference. The goal is to read as many as possible.

So there you have it. I select options for books to read for this event and then you guys get to vote on those options and decide what order I read them in. This sounds like it’ll be fun. I instantly looked at my August TBR (I’ll have my post on that up in a couple days) and determined that having a few Middle Grade reads on my list meant that I could probably squeeze in a few fun reads.

Without further ado, here are my options for you to vote on:

Now I have this poll set up to be open until August 4th, so do me a favor and vote. Keep in mind that though I only have Sandman Vol 7 pictured above, my poll option is for Volumes 7, 8, 9, and 10. The reason I did this with both Sandman and Scott Pilgrim is because I know I have a tendency to fly through graphic novels, comic books, and manga, so bundling them together just makes sense to me.

Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Hey all, Dani here.

Today I am pleased to bring you an early review for one of my most highly anticipated book releases of 2017. I love Adam Silvera’s books, and after hearing about this book I absolutely had to know just how true the title was.

So naturally as soon as I got my hands on an ARC during BookExpo, I had to read it…as in I had finished this book before BookCon wrapped. That would have been too early for a review so here we go. Yes, I wrote and then scheduled this post back in mid-June.

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Summary

New York Times bestselling author Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called “profound.”

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Adam Silvera’s books just draw me in and I can’t put them down…or if I do put them down it does not take that long before I have to pick it up to read more. In 2016 when I received an ARC for History is All You Left Me in June, despite the book coming out in January 2017, I intended to only read a couple chapters and then put the book aside for a few months so it would be closer to the release day. Instead I had the book finished within a day.

It was basically the same with this latest novel. I wrote down all the ARCs I received at BookExpo and BookCon and pretty much decided to read them in order of publication date, just to make things simple. Yeah, right. I could not help myself. I was pulled towards They Both Die at the End, and so I just ignored the rest of my massive new TBR stack and dove in.

I was not at all disappointed by this book. It made me smile, and get cute little warm fuzzies, but there were also times where I was worried for the characters, and yes, of course there were also some points where I cried. Following Mateo and Rufus on the day they receive their call from Death-Cast was a roller coaster ride of emotions. And okay, fine, I admit it that I was already tearing up at the very beginning of the book when I read a letter from Adam about the writing of this book.

This was a beautiful tale and both boys had such unique voices. I also liked that there were interludes where we were given glimpses of rather minor characters who might have interacted briefly with the young men or just happened to be in the same vicinity at that particular time. It made for a different kind of story layout and I very much enjoyed it.

I really don’t want to say too much about this book because I don’t want to risk spoilers, but I will just say that it was a phenomenal read. There were a couple times where I thought I had figured out an intriguing possible plot twist, only to later learn that I was completely wrong.

So do both Mateo and Rufus die at the end? Now why would you expect me to answer that question. Go order a copy of this book for yourself and then you can find out how appropriate or inappropriate the title is. Seriously, I just highly recommend this book. Adam Silvera has definitely made it onto my auto-buy author list.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order a copy of They Both Die at the End from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. This book will be released September 5th, 2017.