Sunday, January 17, 2016

Review: Grumpy Cat

Title: Grumpy Cat, Volume 1
Author: Ben McCool
Genre: Comic
Series: Book 1 in The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat and Pokey
Pages: 104
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Publisher: Dynamic Forces
Summary: Dynamite proudly presents the comic book misadventures of Grumpy Cat, featuring "The World's Grumpiest Cat" and her brother, Pokey! With her ever-present pout and sassy disposition, Grumpy Cat has won the hearts of people everywhere. Now, her unbearable cuteness and infectious sourpuss are featured in an all-new, all-sensational collection of comic stories, sure to make fans of all ages laugh! If you love the memes, the videos, and that irresistible scowl, then get ready for the wildly fun antics of Grumpy Cat and Pokey!(via Goodreads)

My Rating:
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley from Diamond Book Distributors, so thank you very much to them! 

This was not quite what I expected, although after revisiting the NetGalley page it made more sense. It is actually classified as 'Children's Fiction'. I was expecting more of the ironic internet meme type of Grumpy cat, where this was a very juvenile, Grumpy cat who actually reminded me a lot of Garfield. There were a lot of stories in this comic and I think it would be perfect for a young reader maybe in the 8-12 range. For me, however, I found it a little bit tedious. The art was wonderful, and had so many different feels that really brought the stories to life. I probably won't continue on in this series, but I would recommend young readers consider picking this up!

Did you ever pick up a book, only to find it's geared for a completely different age group?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blog Tour! The Last of the Firedrakes! Givaway & Author Interview!

The Last of the Firedrakes

Author: Farah Oomerbhoy
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy
Series: Book 1 in 
Pages: 488
Release Date: August 15, 2015
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing Pub
Summary: A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic. 16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad. Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way.  Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear. With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

My Rating:

About The Author:
For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles will be published worldwide August 15th, 2015.

Author Interview:
A warm welcome to the lovely Farah!Let's start with some inspiration, Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I have always enjoyed great literature, and the range of authors that have inspired and influenced me throughout the years is quite vast. From Homer, Shakespeare, and Milton to Jane Austen and Enid Blyton, I’ve enjoyed them all. But in the past few years I’ve been fascinated with the prospect of creating fantasy worlds and exploring them with the characters I have created. Books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, The Earthsea Quartet, The Magic Faraway Tree series and Harry Potter with their wonderful worlds and fascinating stories really influenced the way I looked at storytelling.

Which authors would you say have influenced you most and how?
Enid Blyton, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K Rowling. All their books have a magical wonder to them, and at the same time the worlds are so beautifully crafted that you feel like you want to live there. Creating the world of Avalonia was how I started writing this book, I wanted to create a world that readers would love to live in. The characters and plot grew from there.

How long do you generally let a story idea ‘marinate’ in your brain before you start the book?
A while, it needs some time to change and grow. So I write down notes first, and then start writing.

What's your biggest challenge as a writer? How did you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?
My biggest challenge is trying to find enough time to write. Now I’ve recently started keeping a fixed time to write everyday.

How do you come up with the characters names/personalities?
I love creating names of characters and places. I just write down a list of names I like and then cut them, expand on them or join two words to make another. For their personalities, I do draw inspiration from real life and the people I know and meet. But no character in my book is completely one person. I take character traits and personalities from a mixture of people to build my characters into what I want.

Ok let's get off topic for a few questions! If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?
I think I would like to be Athena. She’s smart and powerful at the same time. The Goddess of War and Wisdom, she’s also the goddess of art and inspiration, and Plato even calls her “she who has the mind of God.” As the myths say she was born fully armed, springing out of Zeus’ head. Excellent at war strategy, she was also a mentor to many heroes like Perseus and Hercules helping them to complete their quests. She’s quite fantastic!

Who is your Favorite historical person?

If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?
I think the 15th and 16th centuries in England would have been a wonderful time to live in. The birth of the English literary renaissance was the most exciting time in the history of literature. I would have loved to meet William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, or Phillip Sydney and just sit and listen to what they have to say. The Golden Age of Elizabeth 1 was also an age of castles, chivalrous knights and courtly romance and I think I would have loved to be a part of it.

If you could take over the world, would you?
No! ☺ I couldn’t handle the responsibility.

Ok let's talk about books! What is your favorite scene in the book? Which scene or characters were the most difficult for you to write and why?
I think my absolute favorite is when Aurora finally meets Morgana. When I wrote this chapter even I was surprised at how it turned out. I wasn’t expecting things to happen the way that they did, I just let Aurora do what she thought was right. I don’t think I can tell you much more without giving away the ending. I also love the scene in the midnight forest market. It was such fun to write and is wonderfully magical. Aurora was definitely the most difficult to write, because readers are seeing things only from her point of view and our knowledge is restricted to what she sees, learns and finds out. It is difficult to keep a balance while revealing things.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
I can see myself in Aurora sometimes, a few characteristics are similar. But there are many things that I would have done differently that would not have suited her character, so I let her evolve as the book progressed.

Dream casts are becoming very popular, what would your dream cast for your book be?I don't really have one for Aurora—I still have to find someone who could play her, a fresh face would be nice. But a young Henry Cavill as Rafe, Jeremy Irons as Gabriel Silverthorne, Michelle Pfieffer as Serena Silverthorne, Ian Somerhalder as Damien and Angelina Jolie as Morgana.

What book do you love that doesn't get a lot of hype?
Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley. It is the sequel to Gone with the Wind and is written so well, perfectly echoing Margret Mitchell’s style of writing. Anyone who loved reading Gone with the Wind and wants to know what happens to Scarlett and Rhett must read this book. You will not be disappointed.

How many books are in your TRB pile?Too many! Lately I don’t have much time to read. But I hope I will be able to get to them soon. I think the count is at 139 right now on my to-read list.

Ok, to finish off, last question! Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book!
The Last of the Firedrakes is a fantastical adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

Thank you so much for your time Farah! Check out the links above to get your copy of The Last of the Firedrakes today!

Follow The Tour:

August 14th – Reads All The Books – Review
August 15th – Dizneeee's World of Books – Review / Guest Post
August 15th – Melissa Martin's Reading List – Review / Top 5/10 Post
August 17th – Ya Fiction Queen – Guest Post
August 17th – Christine Abee – Review
August 18th – Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between – Interview
August 18th – EndlessReading – Review
August 19th – Motif by Tanya – Author Interview
August 19th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post
August 20th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post
August 21st – Book Addict – Guest Post / Author Interview
August 21st – Author of The Not So Public Library – Review / Interview
August 24th – Miranda's Book Blog – Review / Guest Post
August 25th – BookishFever – Review
August 26th – The Reader and the Chef – Review / Top 5 or 10
August 27th – The Power of Three Readers – Promo
August 27th – Ashley Martinez – Review
August 28th – Bookish – Review
August 31st – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review / Author Interview
September 1st – Beauty's Library – Review / Guest Post
September 2nd – Pixie Vixen Reviews – Character Interview
September 3rd – Creatyvebooks – Review / Author Interview
September 4th –
September 7th – serenastone – Author Interview
September 8th –
September 9th – Read with Royella – Review
September 10th – Reading with AngelaRenea – Review / Author Interview
September 11th – Atomic Pirate Girl's Book Worm Booty – Review
September 11th – Triple T Tots tweens and teens – Review / Teasers
September 14th – Anything but Vanilla Book Blog – Playlist
September 14th – Rockin' Book Reviews – Review 


**Giveaway consists of a Kindle Fire HD 7 and a Firedrake Prize Pack.**
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Monday, August 31, 2015

August 2015 Wrap Up!

Second wrap up post! This month was a very busy month and not just in the book variety! A little announcement to make: I'm no longer on night shift! I am now the full time RN Supervisor, a switch that happened this month. I'm very excited about this, but it's been a big change. There are a lot more people to interact with, and family members and doctors to work with, but I love it and I'm so much happier now, although the sleep adjustment situation means I fell back to impulse reading, and just read what I felt like and not what I planned to... I also have not been posting as much this last few weeks because... I got my wedding dress! What an experience! Stressful but amazing! Which brings me to the books!

This month I read 12 books!

1. 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
2. Frostfire by Amanda Hocking
3. Once by Anna Carey
4. Fire by Kristin Cashore
5. Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa
6. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
7. Transformed by E.V. Fairfall
8. Deep Dark Fears by Fran Krause
9. Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas
10. The Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler
11. The Blight of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler
12. The Scourge of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler


I read a total of 12 books and 4,105 pages in August!
I gave a total of 49 stars out of a possible 60.
3 books received 5 stars, 7 books 4 stars, 2 books got 3 stars and no books were below 3 stars. 
I posted reviews for 6  of the 12 books so far. 
7 of the 12 books were part of a series, 3 were stand alone books, and 1 was a graphic short. 
3 of those were first books in the series and 3 were second books in series. 
1 book was a comic short, and 1 book was a novella. 
2 books were advanced reading copies.

My favorite book from August was:

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

This has been on my to read list for a while and I finally just read it and it was beautiful. It was fairy tale retelling story which is one of my favorite genres. On top of that it was still young adult, but it was on the higher (as far as age/maturity goes) of young adult to the point where I almost didn't classify it as such, and that was a nice change of pace. 

Least favorite book in August:

Once by Anna Carey

It was't that this book was bad, it just wasn't great and there was a lot of really great books this month. If there had been some books that I didn't like this book would have fallen solidly in the middle of the pack, but there weren't any I really did not like, so what can you do?

Currently Reading

You know me, there's never just one book I'm reading at a time!
1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
2. Inferno by Dante Alighieri
3. Justice Buried by Hilary Thompson


Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series, which I know I'm behind on, but is wonderful non the less! I started Inferno thinking I'd knock it out before reading Inferno by Dan Brown only to find it was harder than I expected and it's taking longer I planned. Justice Buried is an ARC I received, which I am really enjoying so look for a review next month!

Project Brad

Brad and I are still working on Revan by Drew Karpyshyn. I am pleased to report that Brad seems to be enjoying this book much more than previous ones. We are reading slowly, but steadily which is nice. There's a really good chance we will finish this book this fall. 

Wrap it up!

That's August! I'm really glad that I not only maintained, but increased my reading from last month! Even with life getting in the way and work being very busy, I've been really enjoying the books I've been reading! Exciting news too, I completed my 2015 goal! I actually finished out August with 40/40 books for the year. That being said I am going to be raising my goal because I was able to read a lot more than I expected to be able to this year! My new goal for 2015 is: 75! I know that's almost double the goal I had, but it's a challenge, and it maintains last year's goal! It put's me 9 books behind schedule but I am hoping to make that up next month!

How did everyone else do in August? Did anyone get some beach reads done?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Genre: Yong Adult
Series: Book 1 in The Caster Chronicles
Pages: 563
Release Date: December 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Summary: Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?

In Ethan Wate's hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it's been promised. And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.(via Goodreads)

My Rating:

This review was originally posted on my Goodreads, and may contain spoilers to this book. 

I picked this book up because I saw the trailer for the movie. Not because the trailer 'wow'd' me but because if it is good enough to be made into a movie I'm willing to give it a chance (plus I have seen so many books destroyed when they are made into movies that I do not judge books by their movies). To be honest, though, this book did not wow me. there were a lot of things that had potential but it just did not follow through. 

First of all it ended up being a romance, but the narrator is a male. This is something I found interesting because most of the times these type of books are from a female perspective. Second the actual basis for the plot was interesting, not the best I've read, but interesting non the less. Unfortunately I felt like it was not handled well. 

Overall I thought that it felt like another post-Twilight mess. (Please do not mistake me, I loved the Twilight series -minus the first book- but in the wake of Twilight's popularity there were a lot of books with basically the same plot put out and they are mostly a mess.)In fact I found myself seeing parallels to the Twilight series the entire way through. The main difference being that the role of Bella was filled by Ethan. 

Example: Ethan meets Lena who he is instantly drawn to. He cannot get him out of her head even though she insists that she is dangerous. He finds out he is a supernatural Caster(much like a witch) from a family of Casters who all have different gifts and who might hurt him, but accepts this overly easily. He doesn't care and they spend a short period of time together at their high school happy. Then a bad supernatural Caster comes along and tries to kill Ethan. Luckily Ethan’s Amma(?) is easily deceived even though she is constantly said to be very powerful. Ethan loses a fight with said villain and almost dies but luckily due to what Lena is she saves him. 

Which sounds a lot like:
Bella meets Edward who she is instantly drawn to. She cannot get him out of her head even though he insists that he is dangerous. She finds out he is a supernatural vampire from a family of vampires who all have different gifts and who might hurt her but accepts this overly easily. She doesn't care and they spend a short period of time together at their high school happy. Then a bad supernatural vampire comes along and tries to kill Bella. Luckily Bella’s well meaning father is easily deceived even though he is the Chief of Police. Bella loses a fight with said villain and almost dies but luckily due to what Edward is he saves her. 

It wasn’t bad enough that I will read the second book in the series, and the last few chapters were pretty good, but it was mostly a disappointment. 

What book did you feel got a lot of hype but ultimately fell short?

Review: Princess of Thorns

Title: Princess of Thorns
Author: Stacey Jay
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Summary: Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne. Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago. Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love? (via Goodreads)

My Rating:

The Princess of all fairy tale retelling stories! This book was astounding from cover to cover! This is everything I want in a book! Excitement, action, romance -but not too much- bravery, flaws, loyalty! I absolutely love it! Did you love Arya in Game of Thrones? How about the Alana series? Fairy tales? Then you will love this book!

The main character is a young girl who disguises as her brother in order to rescue him - and her kingdom! She teams up with Niklaas, the eleventh son of a king to help her. Stacey Jay writes a beautiful romance for them that feels so natural you can't help but love it!

I will say, I was a little bit resistant to it at first because of how much I loved their relationship as friends! Every character was beautifully written, and the story never lets up! Each new adventure follows right behind the previous!

I particularly enjoyed that this was not a typical retelling story. This was about Princess Aurora's (Sleeping Beauty) children, although that took a moment for me to figure out because in this story Sleeping Beauty's name is actually Rose. Bit confusing, but once you get that down it's fascinating. 

This is a stand alone book with no sequel, and although I am disappointed because I would love to keep reading about theses wonderful characters, I thing I am actually glad. So often anymore, we have authors pumping out trilogies, and 7 book series there are very few stand alone books in fantasy anymore (or at least that I can find!). I did notice while poking around Goodreads that Stacey Jay has written about 14 books to date and one of them is called Of Beast and Beauty so I think I know what I'm looking into next!

Basically I have nothing whatsoever to complain about for this amazing piece of literature and everyone ever should pick this book up! Do it yesterday because you need to read this book!

What is your favorite retelling story?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Review: Transformed

Title: Transformed
Author: E.V. Fairfall
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 273
Release Date: January 1, 2014
Publisher: Silver Stag
Summary: Thea, all-mighty Mother Earth, only had one rule to follow above all else, one promise to keep to her brother: never take a human form. She would've kept that promise if it weren't for Brice. He's handsome and confident, but above all he's merciless.

He's also a hunter who has tormented Thea for years. She believes if she could teach Brice compassion, she might finally be able to save her creations and herself from his savage ways. Then she meets Chamber: another hunter.

She soon finds herself fascinated by−and torn between−the two boys: Brice and Chamber. Lost within a torrent of human emotions, Thea starts to lose who she is as she falls in love with the one thing that she's always hated: a hunter… a human.(via Goodreads)

My Rating:

I received this book as a free ebook from the author in exchange for a honest review, so a big thank you to E.V. Fairfall for this opportunity!

The cover is what initially caught my eye with this book, but it was the plot that drew me in! This was a very unique idea that I've never seen before in young adult books. It's a story of a not-so-young girl: Mother Earth.

I was initially a little bit frustrated with Thea because she went from being this ancient being who has seen so much, to being a stereotypical teen with a crush, but as the story plays out I saw that it was very much part of the character development. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, because dress it up however you like, she was very typical of YA protagonists, but it helped the story along and set up for a delicious plot twist!

I loved the way the romance was handled between Brice and Thea. I was, again, a bit concerned but the wonderful way it was written I feel like when things went bad, I could feel it just as though I was being hit with a bag of bricks, much as I imagine Thea did. It was a nice illustration of how things can go bad so fast. 

I did have one complaint, the time did not seem to flow quite right. I found myself flipping back to see if I had missed something, or feeling like I had missed a chunk of time. Nothing huge, but enough that I noticed it a few times. 

I particularly enjoyed the mythology, can I call it that, in this. The back story of Thea and her brother and how they interact with a sentient Earth. Even though they are titled 'Mother Earth', 'God', 'Earth' I got more of a 'God' feel from the Earth. I liked the fluidity of the whole thing. 

It was a wonderful, well written, interesting book that kept me on the edge of my seat on more than one occasion! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys books with spiritual fiction in it, or someone who enjoys light fantasy and contemporary books. 

What is your favorite fictional religion or religious mythology?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Review: Deep Dark Fears

Title: Deep Dark Fears
Author: Fran Krause
Genre: Comics
Pages: 144
Release Date: September 29th 2015
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Summary: A charmingly creepy collection of 100 illustrated comics based on idiosyncratic and universal "deep dark fears." We all have weird fears, from getting sliced to ribbons in subway station revolving gate to getting turned around by the wind while swimming and going too far out to sea. Based on the wildly popular eponymous Tumblr, Deep Dark Fears explores our odd, creepy, and hilariously singular fears. Animator, illustrator, and cartoonist Fran Krause brings these fears to life in vividly illustrated comics based on real fears submitted by readers (plus a few of his own). These "deep dark fears" run the gamut from unlikely but plausible to completely ridiculous, highlighting both our deeply human similarities and our peculiar uniquenesses. (via Goodreads)

My Rating:

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley from Ten Speed Press, so thank you very much to everyone involved!

This was quite a lovely book about all the, you guessed it, deep dark fears that people have. I can'd decide if the book was terrifying because there were things I never thought to be afraid of, or comforting knowing that I am not the only crazy person out there with this fear. 

The illustrations were wonderful and the layout was great! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the Gashlycrumb Tinies because it has that same lovely dark humor to it!