Sunday, May 13, 2018

Stacking the Shelves: May 2018 Book Haul


Bought
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Haunted Heartland by Beth Scott & Michael Norman
Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Review
Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell
Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
Strange Stars by Jason Heller
How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson
The Falling Between Us by Ash Parsons
What I Leave Behind by Alison McGee
Gudetama's Guide to Life by Brian Elling
Eggistential Thoughts by Gudetama the Lazy Egg by Francesco Sedita & Max Bisantz

My favorite bookstore find this month was definitely Haunted Heartland, a ghost book involving stories that take place in the midwest.  My dad had this same book when I was younger, but it was loaned out and never returned.  When I stumbled upon this copy, I knew I had to have it.  Another book I'm super excited to add to my collection is Saga, Vol. 1!  Check out my mini review here!

What new books have come into your life recently?  Feel free to leave the link to your most recent book haul below!
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Mini Review: Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Title: Saga, Vol. 1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Age Group: Adult
Category: Graphic Novel/Comic
Release date: October 23rd, 2012
Pages: 160
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Purchased
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.


Although I remember hearing about Saga from other readers, I never looked into picking up any of the volumes until I stumbled upon Volume One at my local Half Price Books store.  I must say: for a book lover, I rarely buy myself books.  I have so many on my shelves to read that I'm certain I will never get through all of them.  Yet, here I was, book in my hands immediately upon finding it on the shelves.  I didn't even flip through it beforehand, I just knew that I wanted it. 

Saga is a tale about two starcrossed lovers, trapped in the middle of a battle between each of their kind.  There's Marko, a kind and caring soul who believes that violence only leads to more violence, and Alana, who is protective and headstrong.  Because they separated themselves from the war in order to fall in love and start a family, everyone- from each side- seems to be after them.  The artwork in this book is so strange and wonderful, it fits the story perfectly.  I must say, after reading Volume One, I absolutely regret not picking up the other volumes they had in store.  I will definitely be getting my hands on the rest of the series thus far, because I flew through this one faster than I anticipated.

Monday, January 15, 2018

I'm Reading for Myself Again

It's been a long time since I've blogged about books.  Life has gotten busy, it's true, but I also burned myself out.  Last year I thought that maybe I would reinvent my blog, but it was also the year that I posted the least.  I see that many of the bloggers who were around when I started are barely posting anymore. 

Maybe everyone has moved on to bigger and better things, or maybe they're hopping on the BookTube bandwagon that I always wanted to try but never had the guts to begin.  I feel so out of the loop, but this time, I don't mind so much.  I'm reading for myself again.  I don't know which new books are coming out anymore, and I'm okay with it.  Now I just get a happy surprise if I go to the store and see that one of my favorite authors has released something new.

Right now I'm reading books that I choose to read, not books that are coming out soon because I have to review them.  Don't get me wrong, I love creating hype for a book that I was fortunate enough to enjoy earlier than most, but there's also something so relieving about picking out a book that's been sitting on your shelves for a while, patiently waiting to be read.

Current Reads:

  

It by Stephen King

I absolutely loved the new theatrical remake of Stephen King's It.  I spent a month after seeing it in theaters just looking up more of the story.  I finally purchased the book on a whim, and I'm loving it.  I know that it will take me a while to read, though, because it's a daunting 1,157 pages long!

After finishing Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, I needed a new ebook to read, so I went with Kasie West's new novel, Love, Life, and the List.  Since I mostly read on my kindle during my lunch breaks at work, I thought that this would be the perfect, fluffy read.

What are you reading?

Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: May 30th, 2017
Pages: 385 (eARC)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. 

Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try. 

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. 

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

The first thing that appealed to me about Eliza and Her Monsters was that just by the description of the book, I could see a lot of myself in Eliza.  In high school, I was always the quiet kid who kept to herself.  I sat in the back of my classes with a pen in my hand-- not taking notes, but writing about another world to escape into.  Like Eliza, I became obsessed with one of my stories, and I worked hard on it for years, posting it online anonymously.  While I gained some loyal readers who knew nothing about the real me, it wasn't nearly the fanbase that Eliza created for herself with Monstrous Sea.

When Eliza starts to fall for real-life Monstrous Sea fan, Wallace, she chooses to keep her real identity a secret.  As a reader, you know that this can only end one way, but it was fun to read about their relationship nonetheless.  Before him, Eliza never had anyone other than her family and two long-distance online friends to spend her time with.  Spending time with him and his group of friends helps her experience so many new things.  One thing that had me on the fence about Wallace and Eliza was that most of their conversations take place over text or in notes, even if they're sitting face to face.  Somehow, that made their connection feel too impersonal to me. 

By the time I got to the end of the book, I felt that I was just reading to get it over with.  There were many predictable, and some unbelievable parts that I couldn't shake once I read them.  I would say, though, that the story is nicely paced and well written, portraying relatable characters and an interesting plot.  I used to feel so alone in my writing and interests, but by reading about characters that I can see so much of myself in, I now see that was never true.  I would have loved a book like this if it had come out 10 years ago, and I hope that teenagers read this today and see parts of themselves in Eliza or Wallace, too.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I Hate Everyone But You Blog Tour (Excerpt)


ABOUT THE BOOK


Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely,
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We're still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?



EXCERPT

THE COMPLETE MORTIFICATION OF AVA HELMER (1999–PRESENT)

Ava Helmer <AVA.HELMER@gmail.com>

to Gen


1) Birth. I poop inside my mom’s womb. I obviously don’t remember this. But I do remember all the times my mom talked about it at family events.

2) Kindergarten. I try to sit on the teacher’s lap during naptime. She tells me that is inappropriate. In front of the entire class.

3) Third grade. Becky Olsberg and Laura Jenner invite me over for a playdate. We share secrets. I confess that sometimes I eat flowers. They tell everyone that I am secretly a horse trapped in a girl’s body.

4) All of middle school.

5) Jordan F. asks me to come over to his house to ask me about you. (Did I ever tell you this? I knew you hated Jordan F. so I might have kept that as a silent shame until now. Oh, no. What if you DIDN’T hate Jordan F. and I ruined your one shot at true happiness as well as any chance of you staying in California for college? He goes to Stanford. I love him so much.) 

6) Prom. You remember. 

7) Day 3 of rushing. When I find out that only 3 of 10 houses want me back. EVEN THOUGH THE AVERAGE IS 7! Only getting asked back to 3 houses in the second round is unheard of. I’m mortified.
a) One of those houses, Pi Phi, is like the COOLEST house on campus, so they have obviously just invited me back to be nice. Or as a cruel joke. (Please refer to #3 above.) 

 I don’t even want to go back to rush. If I do, I’ll feel like I’m asking for it. (Not sexually; I know women can’t actually do that.) 

 I want to cry, but stupid Jessica won’t leave the room! 

A dead person, formerly known as Ava Beth Helmer 

P.S. I’m already crying. Just really softly.


AUTHOR INFO

 

Allison Raskin & Gaby Dunn are two best friends who live in Los Angeles. They started the comedy YouTube channel Just Between Us in 2014 and have since then spent far too much time together. Gaby’s journalism has appeared in pretty much every major publication and Allison has written some really funny group texts with her family. They hope to die within one hour of each other so neither has to plan a funeral. I Hate Everyone But You is their debut novel.