Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway

Title(s): Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Fantasy (Young Adult)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 169
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016

Plot:
This is an incredible, beautiful book about kids post coming back from other worlds. AKA: what happens post all of your fav portal fantasies. High nonsense or high logic?

Our main character just came back from an underworld-esque world and can stand so still she appears to become a statue. The women of the home has gone back and forth between her world and ours, but can't now she's an adult - though it's made her age faster. And all the kids are amazing


Review:
I'm not super in love with portal fantasies, so I really didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. It's freaking incredible. And I cannot wait until we end up back at the school in the third book, because I think it's so interesting being surrounded by these people.

One of the main things running through this book is that people normally only get a door once. It's very usual for their door to appear again so they can go back, but that's what everyone wants. It's about how their parents sent them there because they aren't getting use to being "home," when all of them feel like they've left home and are somewhere strange.

And I just - my heart, I loved them all. These poor damn kids.

Our main character is ace, which shout out for that, and then there's a tran side character - who I adore? And I want more about and his world, as well.

Overall - love this book/world. It's so simply made but so interesting, and I definitely recommend checking it out. They're short, yes, but they're so good.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Recently Read, Watch, Other | August 14th, 2017

I've read quite a few things this first two weeks and I just wanted to quickly talk about some of them, especially because I did reviews - either here or on goodreads. And I really miss doing weekly wrap ups? It's so much fun to talk about what I've read and watched or whatever, but I think every two weeks might be a better plan?

Reading: (finished this week)
Deceptive (illusive #2) by Emily Lloyd-Jones (3/5)
I'm really sad this didn't get more books in the series, because I feel like they could of gotten much better, and there's definitely stories I'm sad we didn't get. (I ship Kit/Magnus and no one can tell me that didn't happen). And this duology wasn't amazing, but it was pretty good, fun, and interesting.


If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle Aged Men by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) (4/5)
I reviewed this on goodreads - mostly fun but not incredible.

Lumberjanes: UNICORN POWER! by Mariko Tamaki (3.5/5)
I'll have a review up closer to the release date, but mostly: enjoyed it a lot. If you're a fan of the comics, or not, I'd suggest checking it out - but if you haven't read the comics, I highly, highly recommend them. They're all 4/5 or 5/5 for me. (goodreads link)

Takeover (Takeover Series #1) and Just Business (#2) by Anna Zabo
I've got a review for the first in this series going up this week - will be linked when up - but overall this is a fantastic m/m BDSM erotica series so far, highly recommend. The first one is mostly fluff. but not all fluff, and the second one almost made me cry a few times. Both very good (any questions about trigger warnings let me know, and I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my abilities, this goes for any book, really)

The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais
Goodreads Review - this is an adorable graphic novel that turns the little red riding hood story on it's head, and is out October 3rd!

Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson (5/5)
Takes place in his Stormlight series - I'd say universe but... cosmere - and some have said you don't have to of read Words of Radiance to read this one but I highly disagree? There's.... so many spoilers, but it's also so damn good. Lift is a fantatic character and I hope we get more of her in Oathbringer.

Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Women by Loryn Brantz (4/5)
Goodreads Review again! (trying harder on this) this is pretty fluffy, and kind of feels like a might lighter version of Hyperbole and a Half, but still enjoyed)

The Tea Dragon Society by Emily O'Neill (5/5)
Blog review, and also on goodreads. Basically: in-fucking-credible, I'm definitely going to be picking up a copy on October 31st when it comes out and so should you. The author has another graphic novel you should check out in the mean time but this one - SO GOOD.


What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis, Thalia Wallis (4/5)
Review will be up on blog closer to release date but already up on goodreads, too many things to say to sum it up. Complicated feelings, but overall: super fucking important.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su, Kate Rorick (3.5/5)
If you haven't heard of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries it was a webseries and it is really, really great. This is a book, written by two of the writers of the webseries, that is based on the videos but has more in-depth in the thoughts. I think I'm going to write a full review of this one but I'm still not sure yet?

Grinder (Seattle Sharks #1)  by Samantha Whiskey (4/5)
This is just almost boring m/f romance novel about this single dad hockey player and yet.... I loved it? Second time reading it because there was a sequel that came out and wanted to dive into that (more on that below). I go back and forth on doing a review on this but - it's a ton of fun, the child is adorable, it's a little melodramatic but I honestly would of been disappointed if it wasn't, and I didn't cringe too much through any of the sex scenes. I just had a craving for a silly romance book and here this was!


Stuff: (currently-reading, watching, crafting, such)

I'm currently reading a few things, so I'll be quick. Enforcer, the sequel to Grinder, which is twice as long but I am enjoying so far? It's just a lot different and not what I was expecting, but I don't think in a bad way? seems more complex.

I've started Dear Martin by Nic Stone, which is amazing so far but I had to put it down because I've already almost cried a handful of times and it made my chest heavy? It's a heavy, important book but, whew, is it hard to read. So important, though, and I'm really enjoying the writing style.

I've read probably literally less then 10 pages of There's Someone Inside Your House as I'm typing this, but I'm hoping to get further before the day's over. I am enjoying it so far, though? I've seen some negative reviews but... my expectations are a Steph-esque slasher and that seems to be what I'm going to get, so I'm so damn excited.

And, finally, I'm also currently reading City of Strife, which if taking me a ridiculously long time and I'm not sure why? I'm loving it but it is heavy high fantasy. However, also (I believe) all the POV/MC's are queer, which I am so into. I'm really, really loving it so far just... I don't know, guess I'm having a hard time concentrating it on because life.

For watching - this week I watched The Wedding Party on Netflix, which was fun but not as fun I expected (it's not a good movie, though. I'm someone who may or may not seek out not great movies to watch because they're entertaining.... no judgement, right? And if you've got recommendations...).

Speaking of things that aren't good, Pretty Little Liars ended, so I decided to give it another shot. I only got like 3 episodes in the last time I tried, but this time I'm like 7/8 episodes in. It's definitely not good but it's entertaining, fun, I like that there's some diversity. (I cringe at the teacher/student thing but, ah well, pretty sure it'll be there forever). It does have some good stuff, at least stuff that could be good, I'm hopeful.

As always I'm watching RoosterTeeth/Achievement Hunter stuff and also YouTube stuff - booktubers primarily but also other people, I don't think I've done one of these since I started watching Simmers, but I watch those now. Ah, how fun. My favorite BookTuber at the moment, has been my fav for a while and is: BooksandLala. She's fantastic, highly recommend her readathon vlogs.

For crafting, I'm still crocheting. Currently working on a large granny square blanket - which will never end probably - and some hats. Do any of you guys craft? I'm really working on moving my blog not just book focused, although It'll always primarily be books because, well, I love books a lot. Especially talking about them.

I'm also thinking of taking part in a month long (about) readathon kind of thing that's like DnD but for reading? It's called The Reading Quest and was created by readatmidnight (info post), and it is super cute. However, I'll also be traveling for 10 of the days during it so we'll see how that goes.

What've you been reading, watching, or whatever?

Happy reading! (and watching, crafting...)

On the blog:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Comic Review: The Tea Dragon Society

Title(s): The Tea Dragon Society
Author: Emily O'Neill
Genre: Fantasy - Graphic Novel
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 72
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017

Disclaimer: ecopy provided in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley.

Plot:
This is less then 80 pages, so I'm not going to say much, but I will say: tiny tea dragons, who get very attached to their owners. And are adorable.

Why can't I have a tea dragon?

Review:
I read the authors first graphic novel, Princess Princess Ever After, in 2016 I believe. And I loved the art, and the story, and it was just overall adorable. (it's f/f, and there's also a dragon but a bigger one).

This one I didn't read anything about before I picked it up. I saw someone post about reading it and thought the art style was familiar - alas, that's because it was - and ended up seeing when it came out, and then heading to NetGalley to see if I could snag it to read.

I don't normally do a full review for graphic novels - just because they're so short, so there isn't much to say before spoiling it - but this one was just so good, and so cute. First off, the art is gorgeous, as is the coloring. And I teared up at one point, because this is very much about loosing art forms because they take time. 

It's, also, however about tiny tea dragons. We start off with our main character rescuing one from dogs and bringing the poor thing back to it's owner, who offers to teach her the art of it since she's so enthralled with them. (have I mentioned tiny tea dragons? how couldn't you be enthralled with tiny tea dragons. I'm actually upset that I can't one day have one as a companion).

There's more I want to talk about, but I don't want to spoil anything. Like her first, this is also a queer book with an m/m couple, and the girls are young but I think it could be read as a crush or whatever (which is how I read it, just realized typing this that everyone might not read it that way).

Overall - I'd highly recommend checking this graphic novel out, along with her first one. They're gorgeous and heartwarming, but not in a pure fluff kind of way. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

July 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

Whoops, this is a few days late. Mostly because I was pretty much reading up until the last possible moment of the month, wanting to try (for some reason?) to get as much reading into the month as possible. And I had a lot of fun doing that? I wasn't really trying to do that until BookTubeAThon started - I vlogged for it, I'm hoping to get it up sometime next week.

Anyway - it was a good reading month in quantity but also in quality. I read a lot of things, sure, but I also read a lot of good things. And even managed to check off a few Diversity Bingo challenges, which is great because I'm officially behind. Reading challenges is when being a mood reader bites me in the ass.

Onto the books and then some thoughts - probably a good few because, well like I said, a lot in general but also a lot of good.

Books:
  • Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1) by Daniel Jose Older (4/5)
  • A Christmas Carroll: A Strangely Beautiful Novella by Leanna Renee Hieber (5/5)
  • The King by Tiffany Reisz (5/5)
  • Coffee Boy by Austin Chant (5/5)
  • Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman (5/5)
  • The Blue Horses by Mary Oliver (4/5)
  • Wizards in Space, Volume 1 edited by Olivia Dolphin (4/5)
  • Queer, There, and Everywhere by Sarah Prager (5/5)
  • Want (Want #1) by Cindy Pon (4/5)
  • Adaptation (Adaptation #1) by Malinda Lo (5/5)
  • Dog Songs: Poems by Mary Oliver (4/5)
  • Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher (2/5)
  • Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuirre (5/5)
  • Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest (4/5)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where the Find them: Original Screenplay by J.K Rowling (4/5)
  • The Gauntlet by Karuna Riaza (4/5)
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire (4.5/5)
  • Exit, Pursued by Bear by E.K Johnston (5/5)
  • The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (5/5)
  • The Gunslinger (Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King (4/5)
  • Illusive (Illusive #1) by Emily Lloyd-Jones (3.5/5)
Graphic novels/comic/manga:

  • Kill or Be Killed, Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips
  • Dimension W, Volume(s) 1, 2, 3, 4, + 5 by Yuji Iwahara (4.5 average)
  • Giant Days, Volume 5 by John Allison, Max Sarin (4/5)
So I read a lot of good, good stuff this month. You can see a bunch of 5 stars up there, but also a bunch of 4 stars. And the 4 stars were really fucking good in their own right, excuse the language. I normally try not to swear on blog but I'm tired, and also amped up about books. As always. I read 21 books, 7 graphic novels. Which equals to a total of: 5,902 pages with the graphic novels - 4,846 without gn.

I'm going to try and be super brief about most of the ones I loved, only going into depth about a few, just because there's so many but I live giving my mini-thoughts about the books I read.

I'm kind of mad at myself that I waited so long to read Half-Ressurection Blues? I've had it since just after it came out and it was so good and so much fun, and listening to the author narrate it was an experience. I don't know if this is weird to say, but he's got a good voice. And the way it's written feels conversation - highly recommend the book, and the audiobook if you're into that. 

The King - do I need to spew lover about Tiffany Reisz again? A Christmas Carroll was really, really adorable and I'm glad we got that last piece of closure. I'm loving Mary Olivers poems, which should be unsurprising since I read two of her collections this month.

The Gauntlet. Everyone was right about it being like jumanji and I highly recommend it - interesting, surprised me, and a ton of fun. Coffee Boy and Knit One, Girl Two were both short, adorable romances and I'd recommend them both, definitely going to be checking out more from the authors. 

Finally, the last few I really loved. First: Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones. I feel like I'm one of the last people to start this novella series but if you haven't, it's incredible. It's so damn interesting and just so good? I love fantasy, portal fantasy included, and I loved the idea of this book and also loved the way she wrote it. Would highly recommend both, cannot wait until the third comes out.

The Names They Gave Us was heartfelt and sad. It deals with cancer, though, just to warn you - the MC's mom has agressive breast cancer. It also deals with a whole slew of other problems and it's really, really good. I want to read the spinoff about Anna, I don't think it'll happen but I'd 100% read it.

(trigger warnings for sexual assault/rape discussion, just the below paragraph)

Exit, Pursued by Bear. This book. I cried through probably at least 60% of it. It's so well done, though. I'm not a survivor of an assault so I can't speak for that, but... I can't read books about rape, so I wasn't going to pick this one up. It makes me sick to read, especially when the writer feels like we need a detailed description of it happening? None of that is in this book. This book handles our main character with respect, but also lets her be confused. She doesn't know to feel, she doesn't remember it. I think I want to write a full review, but one last thing: how respectful every adult she encountered was incredible, how supportive her best friend was and mostly everyone in her life who was a friend. I just... if you can stomach it, I'd recommend reading this book. It's on a horrible subject matter, but it's an incredible read. 

Finally, we're ending on a lighter note because I feel like we should. Adaptation by Malinda Lo. There's mixed opinions about this book but holy shit, I loved it. I loved it in a way that I haven't a book in a while. It's fun, a little ridiculous, and deals with conspiracy theories - remember when there were those bird problems? And then conspiracy theories? Well - what if they were real? Oh, and also aliens? Haven't read book two yet - it's a duology - but I am definitely planning on doing so, I'm just kind of nervous about how it's going to end. This was only my second book by Malinda Lo but I think she might be an auto buy author now for me? (I read Ash by her last year, which is incredible)

Whew, that was a lot of words, took me a while to figure out what I wanted to say. And I don't feel like I did most of these books justice, I also don't feel like I really correctly articulated what I wanted to say about Exit, Pursued by Bear. Either way - if you've read any of these books let me know, or if me talking about them made you want to pick them up! (if you end up reading any, please come back or let me know on twitter)

And with that -
Happy Reading!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Bibliothon Day Six | 25 Facts About Me

I don't know if I can come up with 25 fun facts about myself, but I'm going to try. This is, of course, for day six of the Biannual Bibliothon, day six challenge, this challenge is being hosted by Mary (I think that's her name? Some people names are hard to figure out).

  1. I've always been a reader.
  2. My mom and I use to go to Borders every weekend (RIP).
  3. I have chronic pain in my back that's believe to be scoliosis.
  4. I've been to seven (?) Harry Potter conventions.
  5. I'm flying to London and then Dublin with friends for the next one later this summer. 
  6. I have a Harry Potter tattoo.
  7. I want so many more tattoos.
  8. I play too much of the Sims 4 - way too much.
  9. Watch too much YouTube.
  10. And RoosterTeeth/Achievement Hunter. 
  11. I started crocheting in September of 2015.
  12. I really like doing it, it's soothing, and I'm considering opening an Etsy shop.
  13. 85% (about) of my friends live too far away to see regularly.
  14. I've been to BEA three times and would love to go again.
  15. Reading has been hard the last year+ because my vision is getting worse.
  16. I don't need reading glasses, though, just the astigmatism becoming a problem.
  17. I once visited New York for the day and was in the city for six and a half hours before taking the train home. 
  18. I don't own a dog but would like to in a future.
  19. A pitbull because that's what my aunt had and I grew up with him (RIP Diego. Dogs are good).
  20. I had a rabbit for almost a year but couldn't keep her because thought was a dwarf, turned out to be a meat rabbit (IDK actual breed, but the rabbit people breed to eat which WHY). I get pictures from the friend of a friend who has her though. Bunnies are fantastic pets, but high maintenance (the way she followed me literally everywhere, though, was worth it).
  21. I live by myself.
  22. But my mom has an apartment in the same building.
  23. Which is good because: I don't drive.
  24. I'm 22 (I realized this might not be known by you guys widely? Turned 22 a month ago).
  25. I am always tired. Be it depression, chronic fatigue, medicine side effects. There's always something.
Those are some random facts for you. Don't know if they're fun facts but I'm not an overly complicated person and didn't want to do really anything about books/reading that I think you might know just from following me here or on twitter/instagram.

If you took part in this challenge, please link me your post so I can see it.

Andddd Happy Readathoning!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Three Star Reads | Discussion (Bibliothon day 4)

It's day four of the bibiliothon and today's prompt? Challenge? is to talk about book(s) you've rated three or less stars. This challenge is being hosted by burstingwithbooks. I use to be, and still kind of am, pretty lenient in my ratings towards most books. Unless it has something that really annoys me or rubs be the wrong way.

I'm going to mention one in particular - Zom-B by Darren Shan I rated one star. Now, it was so long ago that I don't quite remember the scene but I do remember the why. I mean, first of all, it was just a meh book to begin with, but then it got racist and that's fucked up. Yes, they're teenagers, blah, blah - whatever, I wasn't a racist shithead when I was a teenager. If you have racist characters it needs to be corrected/commented on by the end of the book - someone calling them out, come on.

Wow, it's been over three years and I'm still full of salt about that one, but I mean - racist bullshit, I will always be salty over. (disclaimer, I guess, but I'm white. So if you feel differently, let me know).

Examples of more one (1) star reads (I don't have a lot): The Girl in the Park, Twilight series, Opal Fire

Two stars are a low rating for me, but they're not I hated it. And, also, normally I only rate books I got at least 50% into it. Though, if I DNF a book I normally didn't really hold on that long. And I have a surprising amount of two star reads, but a book has to make me angry at how bad it is to get a 1 star.

Examples of two (2) star reads: Heir of Fire, Cold Kiss, Girl with Guitar, 172 Hours on the Moon, Monument 14, Dead Ever After, 

Overall, though, a three stars isn't really a low rating for me. It can be, if it's a book I was really hyped for and it fell flat. However, romances get a three from me a lot and I'm not sure why, but I definitely think of it as just "i liked it." It was good, but there wasn't anything that made me go: I loved that part, it was just a good, solid book.

For example, I gave two of the Vampire Academy books I've read three stars but - I enjoyed them, and I am planning on continuing with the series. I think that's why half stars and such can come in so handy when rating something, but since I mostly use goodreads I guess it doesn't matter (I do normally put half stars in my review, though, if I do them. And they're also in my spreadsheet. Yes, I keep track of what I've read in a spreadsheet).

Examples of three (3) star reads: Wife by Wednesday, If it Ain't Love, All Our Yesterdays, Lord of Shadows, The Screaming Staircase

I'm not going to list more because I have a lot of three stars - and my rating system has gotten more strict as I've read more things. I would of never rated Lord of Shadows three stars even just last year, probably, I would of felt guilty about it since I loved Lady Midnight and her other books (also didn't want the haters clawing at my throat). But now - meh. And, actually, going through those ratings I'd change some - bump them down, mostly, just because I really feel meh about the book in general.

I don't think this is exactly what the challenge/prompt was suppose to be but it's what I thought of for it. And I don't think I've ever really talked about how I rate books, mostly because at the beginning I was still kind of new to it all.

How do you rate books? Is three a bad rating from you? If you did this same challenge, let me know so I can see how you did it.

Happy readathoning!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bibliothon Day 3 | The Villain's Synopsis

It is day three! Well, presumably, I'm prewriting these so hopefully it is. This challenge is being hosted by Dominique over at Pirates and Pixie Dust. And the idea behind it is to take your favorite book - or just as book, I guess - and rewrite the synposis from the villain's perspective. So. Let's do this.

(There isn't a lot of books I read, apparently, with one focused villain. So this was harder then expected but please enjoy - I definitely went the humor route)

Spoilers for: Harry Potter (kinda?), The Grisha Trilogy, 

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K. Rowling (as soon from Voldemorts POV)
This women did a thing and made it look like her baby defeated me and now I have to live on the back of a dude's head. Ow! Someone hit with me something! Ugh, I hate dealing with Snape. (This is not how I imagine Voldemort's internal monologue but it's too amusing).

Want by Cindy Pon
I am so cool. I am the coolest. The 1% with flourish in our bubbles and the peasants will die. Global warming? The skies use to be blue? HA, fantasy (why do people not believe in global warming??)

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brook
(Zombies) grrrr arghhh bleeee grrrrr

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
(The Darkling) This seems fun, let's destory the world because my mommy doesn't love me. Why do all these fangirls love me? Even though I literally want to destroy the world an am never sorry about it whoops.

Duma Key by Stephen King
Fuck that one guy in particular.

Alright, that last one is probably funny to like one person who clicks on this link but I don't care it made me laugh. Honestly, none of them are very funny. And the Grisha one is me just being salty about how much the fandom loves the Darkling (why? honestly why are you guys like this?). I don't read a lot of books with specific villains, I guess, and these were the only ones I could remmeber clearly enough to even try. And they're not really synopsis of the books, more just like internal monologue for the books.

I mean you don't really see the "villain" in Want all that much, and zombies.

Anyway - hopefully you were a bit better at this then I was, definitely link me if you did this one, I had fun!

Happy readathoning!