Month: January 2017

Top Ten Graphic Novels on my TBR List

Posted January 31, 2017 by Ashley in Top Ten Tuesdays / 10 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they suggest a theme, usually bookish related, and invite bloggers to join in. This week is Ten Graphic Novels on my TBR. I was SO EXCITED to participate this week because I’m fairly new to graphic novels and there are a lot on my wish list. Here are the ten I’m most excited to get my hands on.

There is absolutely no question, I am extremely excited to get this Lunar Chronicles graphic novel in my hands. I’ve been addicted to the series for some time now. I own them in hardcover (SIGNED thanks to Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide) and audio and I’m probably going to start picking up the paperbacks as well. I love this series.

I’ve read this book and listened to the audio and I love them both, so what not add the graphic novel to my collection? Plus the illustrations look so cool!

The first time I read the Outlander series was in 1997, I did a re-read and catch up in 2010 but I’ve never even seen this beauty in real life, I am going to have to change that. I am most interested in Jamie’s POV. Who knows it might spark another re-read!

I’ve heard so many good things about this one and the illustrations are supposed to be gorgeous so I must add it to my collection.

When I started reading graphic novels and asking for recommendations this is one everyone told me to read, so I must!

Joe Hill, enough said right!? PLUS a super creepy mansion with doors that transport you places and a monster who lives inside, all from the mind of Joe Hill. DONE. SIGN ME UP!

I have yet to read the Legend series (though I own them all) but I really want to read this graphic novel too. They all sound so amazing.

Fables is another one that everyone told me to read. I love fairytale retelling and this one has all the fairytale characters living in exile in NYC-I am totally curious about this!

I was gifted Gloomcookie by the lovely Kristen over at The Book Monsters and I totally fell in love. I must have more!

Another recommendation from Kristen. A mysterious plague wipes out all the Y chromosome carriers on earth except one…yeah I need read this.

 

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Behind Her Eyes

Posted January 31, 2017 by Ashley in Adult / 0 Comments

Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Format: ARC
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
on January 31st 2017
Pages: 320
Published by Flatiron Books Source: Publisher
Goodreads

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes?
Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.
When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.
And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?
As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

I’ve read a lot of mysteries and I’ve seen a lot of shows like Criminal Minds and Law and Order. This can sometimes make it hard for me to discover and enjoy a good mystery book. I’m very judgy when it comes to the cover and the content of a good mystery novel. So when this book landed on my doorstep I was intrigued but not dying to read it. I causally added it to my TBR pile. I have to be honest though, I had never heard of Sarah Pinborough nor had I heard about this, as the publisher puts it, “WTF ending”. Stay tuned, I’ll get back to that in a minute. The story is told through different characters POV and it bounces back between the past and the present. This isn’t as confusing as it sounds. Two main characters tell the majority of the story, Louise and Adele with Adele narrating the “THEN” chapters.

Louise lives in a drab apartment with her son Adam. Louise is divorced but mostly civil with Adam’s father Ian. After dropping Adam off after a weekend visit, Ian blurts out his wife is pregnant and the two want to take Adam to the south of France for an entire month. Adam is Louise’s entire life, what will she do for whole month with out him? She decides to try to reinvent herself, hit the gym, try to find the man she kissed at the bar a few nights ago.

On the outside Adele looks like the perfect wife. She is beautiful, well spoken, caring and devoted to her husband David. We learn more and more about Adele through the “THEN” chapters and slowly start to piece her life with David together. Adele and David are new to town and with David starting his new job, Adele is a bit lonely and is looking to make a new friend.

In the first few pages of the book you learn that David is actually the man at the bar and Louise is Adele’s new friend. This can’t be good you think, and you’re so very right. The more time Louise spends with David the more she falls for him. But the more time she spends with Adele, the more she questions David. Who is David really? Why won’t Adele leave David? Is David hurting Adele?You will definitely ask yourself WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THESE TWO!?

The ending really did make me say “What the F@CK!?”. I mean it, I said it out loud and started flipping pages to find more words. Any words, and epilogue, hints at a second book, anything. I didn’t see it coming. AT ALL. I will say the marketing team for this book did an amazing job creating that hashtag and the letter they put inside the ARC. Without that letter I wouldn’t have read this book before it’s publication date, it would have sat on my TBR pile for weeks. I can’t wait for publication date because I’ve recommended it to so many people and I NEED to talk to SOMEONE about it without spoiling the story. So if and WHEN you read this book PLEASE comment so I can discuss!

 

four-stars

 

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The Littlest Bigfoot

Posted January 30, 2017 by Ashley in Book Review, Middle Grade / 0 Comments

The Littlest BigfootThe Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner
Format: ARC
Genres: Middle Grade
on September 13th 2016
Pages: 304
Published by Aladdin Source: Publisher
Goodreads

From New York Times bestselling of Hungry Heart Jennifer Weiner comes a laugh-out-loud funny and painstakingly real tale of friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.
Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.
But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.
Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each other—and have faith in themselves—above all else.

Twelve year old Alice lives with her mother and father in New York City. She is good at one thing, making herself disappear. She thinks her teeth, hands and feet are too big and her hair too unruly. Alice’s mother is small and elegant and father is always dressed perfect. Even though her mom (who she can’t call mom, she has to call her Felicity) doesn’t work she is too busy to pay much attention to Alice. So Alice just keeps getting sent off to boarding school after boarding school (she keeps getting kicked out). For all of the schools Alice has been to, she has never made one friend, not a single one and this is her only wish, her only dream.

Millie is a Bigfoot who lives in the forest with other Bigfoot in her clan. Millie’s father is the leader of the Yare clan and Millie is destined to take his place when he can no longer perform his duties. She will lead just like him, she will keep the clan in the forest just like her father did and his father before him. But Millie doesn’t really want that, she wants to be with the No-Furs (humans). Millie watches No-Furs on t.v. and she is completely fascinated. She is determined to meet No-Furs and befriend them.

When Millie can’t take it anymore, she decides to sneak out and visit the No-Fur school across the river. Millie quickly learns she’s not a very strong swimmer. Millie makes it half way to the school of No-Furs and begins to drown. But then from out of nowhere, Alice grabs Millie and drags her to shore. From then on Mille and Alice become friends.

I don’t want to go into too much detail here because there really is some magic that happens at the end of the story and I really don’t want to ruin it. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is “different” no matter what age. Littlest Bigfoot is an amazing story that teaches us that just because someone looks or acts a certain way doesn’t mean they have it all together or are not going through something on the inside. I think this book should be added to some required reading list or summer reading list, it has such a good moral story to tell. My daughter will be reading this one for sure!

four-half-stars

Have you read Littlest Bigfoot? If so, let’s chat!

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Audio Book Challenge!

Posted January 24, 2017 by Ashley in Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

I’ve been an audio book junkie for about four years now. My very first audio book was The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, and I’ve been hooked every since. I started listening on my short ride to work but quickly found myself not wanting to get out of the car during good parts of the book. Soon I was listening while I did laundry and cooking. Don’t tell my husband but sometimes I find chores to do just so I can listen to my book!

With all of that being said, I’ve recently discovered these cool stats on my Audible app. The app keeps track of how long I listen for that particular day, daily, month and overall. I can even earn cool achievement badges. Here are my current stats and some of my badges:

  

I really love seeing how my far I’ve come in the audio book world since my first listen. There is rarely a time when I don’t have a book queued up and ready to go. Which is why I’ve decided to join The Audio Book Challenge this year (I know I’m late)! If you get a moment check  out the link and sign up. My goal is 20 for the year but check out the different fun levels:

Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

What about you? Do you listen to audio books? If so, let’s chat!

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Half Bad

Posted January 23, 2017 by Ashley in Book Review / 0 Comments

Half BadHalf Bad by Sally Green
Narrator: Carl PreKopp
Length: 8 hours 36 minutes
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
on March 3, 2014
Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.

I have to admit, I was drawn to this series because of the cover. I mean look at it, it looks like red smoke in the shape of a face, or is that blood? And the title Half Bad, the word Half in white and Bad in black. Seriously how does that not draw you in? And then of course, once you’ve finished the book that cover takes on a whole new meaning. A fun fact about Half Bad: in 2014 it set the Guinness World Record for ‘Most Translated Book by Debut Author Pre-Publication’! That is some honor! The book sold in over 45 languages before it’s UK publication. On to the review.

When you flip open the cover (hardcover edition) the tagline reads:

Wanted by no one.

Hunted by everyone.

Well shit, what did the poor guy do to deserve that? Nothing really, Nathan was born to a white witch (his mother) and a black witch (his father). Of course his father isn’t just any black witch, he is the most terrifying witch of all time. The rumors swarming Nathan about his father are the worst imaginable, tons of bloodshed and death. Though Nathan has never met his father, he is desperate to learn everything he can about him. Now that his mother is dead, Nathan and his siblings (I hate Jessica) live with their gran, a gentle white witch who knows more about the past than she lets on. Nathan must visit with the council every year until his 17th birthday so they can try to determine his designation: white witch or black witch, but before he can make it to his birthday, something goes wrong, really really wrong.

Let’s talk about the narrator, Carl Prekopp. From what I can find online he has only narrated the Half Bad trilogy but seems to be an actor and director in Britain. I remember thinking at some point during the book that he seemed like he was more than just a narrator telling a story. Prekopp really seemed to get into the role of Nathan and his British accent really helped bring Nathan and all the other characters to life. If Mr. Prekopp narrators anything else in the future I’ll definitely listen!

Overall I really enjoyed the book. There wasn’t a time when I didn’t feel like I knew what was going on even though the story went back and forth between the past and present. I really do feel sorry for Nathan, he just wants to be who he is and live in peace but the Council won’t allow it. Throughout Nathan’s journey he meets some colorful characters, some I loved (Ellen, Gabriel), some grossed me out (Jim). Overall though, Arran was my favorite supporting character. Arran is Nathan’s brother, a few years older and the true definition of what an older brother should be. He defends Nathan and stands by him no matter what. I can’t wait to start Half Wild and see what is in store for Nathan.

four-stars

Have you read Half Bad? If so, let’s chat!

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Shades of Magic Read Along!

Posted January 21, 2017 by Ashley in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

I saw this read along on Shanna’s Twitter (@writerShanna) had to join. I’ve wanted to read this series since A Darker Shade of Magic came out in 2015, so I’m super excited to participate! If you have ever wanted to read this series, or want to re-read before Conjuring of Magic (February 21st) is released now is the time! Here are the details and links:
The read along for A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC starts today. You have until 3 February to finish!

Along the way there will be posts at the end of each book, discussions, Q&A with participants AND an interview with V.E. Schwab herself. Let us not forget PRIZES!

Hardcover copy of A Conjuring of Light

Two sets of A Darker Shade of Magic

Two sets of Gathering of Shadows

SIGNED copy of This Savage Song

If you want to participate (it’s not too late) head over to Shanna’s post and sign up!

Shades of Magic Read Along

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