Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: Bang by Barry Lyga

Title: Bang
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: April 18th, 2017
Pages: 304 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun.  

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend--Aneesa--to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past. 

It took a gun to get him into this. 

Now he needs a gun to get out.

Boy, 4, Shoots, Kills Infant Sister

There's nothing quite as gripping at that headline.  For the past 10 years, Sebastian has been drowning in regret.  His actions weren't malicious, but everyone in the town looks at him with a mixture of pity, fear, and disgust.  There's no escaping what happened, and at just the age of 14, Sebastian is looking forward to the day it all ends.  That is, until he meets Aneesa, an intelligent and understanding individual.  She's the only one who doesn't know what happened all those years ago, and Sebastian intends to keep it that way.  Aneesa is Sebastian's only sliver of normalcy in the life he's made for himself.

I was hooked as soon as I read the synopsis of Bang.  While I was expecting a rollercoaster of emotion, I also knew that Sebastian's story would be a hopeful one.  The struggle that this main character goes through on a daily basis is hard, especially after he meets Aneesa.  Sebastian struggles most with forgiving himself, because he can see the pain in his mother's eyes when she kisses him goodnight, and he can feel it in the emptiness his father left behind.

Aneesa is a wonderful character to have interact with Sebastian.  She pulls him out of the hole he's been living in, encouraging him to turn his passion into a career.  I actually really loved that they were able to start a YouTube cooking channel and monetize the videos instead of getting your typical summer job.  This is something I've always been interested in doing myself, plus, Sebastian's pizza recipes made my mouth water!  While they work on that project together, Sebastian realized that there's much more to the world than his own problems, and it opens his eyes when he sees that Aneesa is being verbally attacked online solely because of her race and religion.

Bang is a book that I think everyone should pick up, especially now, in a world full of gun violence and prejudice.  It deals with hard-hitting topics that are perfectly portrayed through these characters, and it will make your heart ache when you connect them to real-life events and people we see in our day-to-day lives.

Funko Pop haul

I've been collecting Funko Pop figures for as long as this blog has been up and running, starting with my Hot Topic exclusive Daryl Dixon.  My collection hasn't grown insane like it would if I allowed myself to buy them as often as I want to, but I do have 36 of my favorite characters hanging around various parts of my bedroom.  If I could have one thing in the world right now, it would be more space for books and Pops!  Here's my most recent haul, since Hot Topic recently had their Hot Cash sale and I've gone long enough resisting the Pops that I've been wanting desperately!

Image may contain: 1 person

-Heimlich from A Bug's Life
-Kira and Fizzgig from The Dark Crystal
-Sookie St. James and Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls
-Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon
-Kylo Ren from Star Wars VII
-Elivra Mistress of the Dark
-Bobby Singer from Supernatural
-Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange

Admittedly, a couple of these were impulse buys, but I don't love them any less!
I was actually eyeing up a few Stranger Things Pops until I realized that they didn't apply to the sale :(

I was ecstatic to learn that an Elvira Pop was released, and I've been looking for an Alex DeLarge Pop for quite some time after seeing that the original became so rare.

For more of my Pop collection, check out my Instagram!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Title: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: April 4th, 2017
Pages: 320 (ARC)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first. 

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

When Elle's father died, Starfield was the only reminder she had left of his existence.  Starfield was what brought her parents together, and later became a family tradition, something she would carry with her for years to come.  Her "stepmomster" was on a mission to get rid of any and everything left over from Elle's past, including memorabilia and reminders of the family she once had.  On the other side of the country, Darien Freeman struggles in the spotlight.  He's been cast as Carmindor in the new remake of Starfield, but he didn't realize what a challenge it would be to play such a beloved character.  His father, aka his manager, does whatever will make the most money and get the most attention, putting Darien's best interest behind everything else.   When Elle and Darien begin texting each other anonymously, they realize that there's much more to life than what's right in front of them.

The compatibility between these two main characters is perfect.  Although Hollywood has pinned Darien as a teenage heartthrob, he's secretly as big of a fan of the series as Elle is, even attending ExcelsiCon- a Starfield-based convention- before he was famous.  They each find solace and an escape in their daily conversations.  I have to say that my favorite character was a green-haired girl named Sage who acts as Elle's fairy godmother when Elle's ExcelsiCon plans go up in flames.  She helps Elle with her cosplay costume and encourages her to make the changes necessary for her happiness.

This is a modern Cinderella retelling, but the author did a fantastic job making it original.  The Magic Pumpkin was a vegan food truck, and the royal ball was a cosplay masquerade.  Everything about this book is perfect for those who love all things geeky.  There are also many fandoms mentioned, which I really enjoyed, because I could envision myself in ExcelsiCon with Elle and Darien as a part of the Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer groups.

I love that this story is told from both Elle and Darien's points of view.  As the reader, we get to see two opposites coming together, one who lives her day-to-day life as a slave to her stepmother and stepsisters commands, and the other who lives in the limelight surrounded by screaming fangirls at all times.  Darien was far more down to earth than I expected him to be, which made me swoon the more we got to know him.  Geekerella is a fantastic novel for all those who have found comfort in a specific series, been labeled as a geek, or simply love cute, unique romances.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Summer TBR

Since I'm a bit of a mood reader, TBRs haven't always worked out for me in the past.  I think that I like making lists more than actually completing them, so I'm going to try doing this seasonally.  Of course, I'll pick and choose books as I please, but for the most part, these are the books I've been interested in reading for months! 


It's no lie that I love a cute, fluffy contemporary romance during the summer months, so I made sure to stock up on them!  I can't even decide which book I'm most excited to read first!