Sunday, June 28, 2015

NEW FEATURE: Aesthetically Reading

What is Aesthetically Reading? It’s a new feature on my blog where I showcase photographs of books I own. Books are supposed to be aesthetically pleasing. You want a book you enjoy looking at when you aren’t immersed into the story. There are little things that make books special that aren’t inside the story, but that make up the physical copy. It could be the spine, dust jacket, art work, or anything that I think is worth sharing. I hope that this can help you decide whether you want to buy a copy of this book or not because it is definitely worth it. Note: I will be showcasing my ARC copies, which aren’t finished, but are still fun to show. I hope you enjoy this feature! 

Today, I'll be showcasing my copy of:
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
Published: March 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile 
Page Count: 353 pages
Summary (taken from GR):Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.

  This book has a beautiful cover. It  has a faint picture of a missing poster and it's very bright. It feels disorienting, which is the tone of 17 & Gone. The cover also gives off a shimmer (which I can't picture). My edition is an ARC copy, so it is slightly different from the hardcover and paperback editions.

My spine for 17 & Gone is very tattered and well-loved, but it's a very simple spine. I don't particularly love it, but it is very striking on my shelf because of the grey cement lettering of the title.

I personally don't have a fancy back for 17 & Gone so I can't say if it is striking because my edition is an ARC.

The title page is nothing particularly amazing. It's your basic cover page, except for the fact that it has Suma's signature on it (which was such a surprise when I got this in the mail).

The chapter headings, like the cover page, are also nothing striking like in some books, but I like the lines on each side of the number because it reminds of newspaper font.

This book does have a few bonus feature. They are missing posters for each of the girls mentioned in the novel. I really liked this inclusion while reading because it was an impersonal explanation and then Suma would go into deeper depth making you feel connected to the missing girls.

Should you buy a copy of 17 & Gone?
I think if this book interests you then, definitely! It's a fantastic book worth owning, but based off of just the physical aspect I would say: maybe. The cover is beautiful and the missing posters are cool, but it is not a particularly beautiful book physically. Inside though, it's amazing.
Do you plan on buying a copy of 17 & Gone? Do you already own one? Let me know down below in the comments!

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Graphic MashUp

Hello, everyone! I'm over 50 reviews behind (yikes!) and the best way to pile through this mountain is to lump up books that are similar. Here are four mangas and a graphic novel!

21433251Manga Classics: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and SunNeko Lee
4 stars

This is a very tragic story. I was one of those rare people who knew absolutely nothing about Les Mis. Les Mis was one of those classics I hadn’t been spoiled to, which surprising because it became a big blockbuster hit my freshman year of high school. (I still haven’t seen that movie! I really need to get on that.) I’m not going to hash out the plot of Les Mis. Mainly because most people already know or it’s better to find out on your own like I did. This obviously isn’t the actual story, but a condensed version. How condensed? Well Les Mis is over 1000 pages while this edition is only 337 pages. This manga classic does what it needs to do. It made me want to dive into the massive tome that is Les Miserables and read that book. I will eventually read it because this is a beautiful story. This is a beautifully adapted piece of art. The writing is translated into the pictures with ease and I was always entertained. This story is beautiful, heartfelt, and oh so tragic! I love it! I really look forward to giving the actual novel a chance one day because I think I’ll enjoy it.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 4 (because it’s not the original story I have no clue how well it translates, but I did enjoy it)

There are so many characters in this novel; instead of dividing them I’m just rounding them all up. I loved them all, even the horrid ones because it made this story beautiful.

Character Scale: 5

Plotastic Scale: 5

Here’s some of the art work:



Art Scale: 3.25

Cover Thoughts: I love this cover. I can feel the pain and it represents this story quite well.

Thank you, Netgalley and Udon Entertainment for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Give to the Heart Volume 1 by Wann

4 stars

Lord Ganok rules as god of the waters. Sooyi is bent on assassinating the Water King after he held her captive. It should be easy to slay him, but he has power and charming ways. I did a horrible way of describing the story line for this manga. The storyline is pretty awesome, I actually happen to love it. Volume 1 is a lot of fun and I flew threw it. The storyline, writing, plot, and characters are all fascinating. The artwork is beautiful. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are a manga fan.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 4

I can’t remember much about Sooyi besides the fact that I liked her.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3

Ganok is an entertaining character and he pretty much made me love this story. I know some people will hate him, but I love him. He’s very true to the manga god stereotype, but I kind of love that stereotype. OOPS.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 5

There are some characters in here that I really like and then there are some that I’m not crazy about.

Character Scale: 4

Plotastic Scale: 4.25

Here’s a picture of the art:
Art Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: I love this cover. I love the way the blues bleed in the background into darker and lighter blues. It’s not amazing, but it’s a pretty good cover for a manga.

Thank you, Netgalley and NETCOMICS for provided me a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Give to the Heart Volume 2 by Wann

3.5 stars

So, volume 2 was frustrating for me. I enjoyed it I did, but there’s a lack of Water King in this second volume. (Who I refer to in my notes as Water Demon, I hope that this is the right character, because if not I’m leading you astray. I’m sorry.) Sooyi ran away with this douchecanoe who is obviously evil and he got on my nerves all the time. I wanted to bludgeon him that’s how annoying he was. A whole volume with him and not my swoon worthy Ganok is not a win-win. My biggest problem though is the overabundant amount of almost rape scenes. Why? C’mon manga, you can do better. Don’t use rape as a plot device that isn’t okay. This one lacked in spirit a lot more than the first one, but I still want to read on.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 4

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2.75

Swoon Worthy Scale: Where are you my Water God?

The Villain Scale: 2

Character Scale: 3

Plotastic Scale: 4

Art Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: I love this cover so MUCH MORE than the first. I don’t know why, but it gives me so many feels. It is also misleading because there is hardly any Water King around.

Thank you, Netgalley and NETCOMICS for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sweet Blood Volume 1 by Seyoung Kim

3.75 stars

Suho is a very feminine young boy who lives alone. One day he wakes up to find a monster feeding on him. He wants to make Suho his. The problem is the king doesn’t realize that Suho is a boy and with the help of the vampire king’s servant Suho is disguised as a girl, but not for long. I know this probably sounds like a horrible manga, but it’s not. It’s also been forever since I read any yaoi manga, so this was really good.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 3.5

25344885Suho is a bit of an idiot. There’s a vampire in his room and he’s okay with this monster kiss him. What are you doing Suho? Eventually comes to his senses. I really like him because he’s just such an endearing character.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 3

I suddenly didn’t write down the king’s name my notes, so I’ll just refer to him as King. I find it really hilarious that King doesn’t realize that Suho is a boy. I mean he does look like a girl, but him not realizing it really built up the suspense.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 3.25

King’s servant cracked me up.

Character Scale: 4

The plot is kind of whacky, but it’s so much fun. It’s hard not to enjoy it.

Plotastic Scale: 4

Art Scale: 4.5

Cover Thoughts: Meh. I don’t hate, but I don’t love. It made me interested though!

Thank you, Netgalley and Netcomics for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

October Faction Volume 1 by Steve Niles & Damien Worm

4 stars

Frederick Allan used to be a hunter. He hunted everything from werewolves to sorcerers. Name a monster and he’s probably slayed it. His wife is no different, but now that Fred is a university professor he hardly sees his wife. She longs to hunt and she wants him to notice her again. Their two kids want to join the family business, but it wasn’t as easy as it first seemed. This is an incredibly dark story. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be a horror comic when I requested this, but I’m glad I did.

“It seems to me, I would wind up killing him at some point, so why not just get it out of the way before things got too messy?” (page 64)

I never quote comics or graphic novels, but for once a character knew that sometimes you have to kill the bad guys quickly and not let them act on their master plan. Props to Fred for being a badass who knows when to take charge.

Hero Worthy Scale: 4.25

This family is awesome. They are all different, but each has their own quirks. Geoff is a young warlock who is picked on for his sexuality. Vivian is an outcast like her brother and can see what people will look like in the future (those high girls don’t look too hot). Deloris is as much of a badass as her husband, but I wanted to see more of her in action. There’s also a new edition to the family, but I won’t mention who he is because SPOILERS, but I really like him.

Character Scale: 4.5
There are so many villains in this story. Just when you get rid of one villain, two more villains pop up.

Villain Scale: 4

This story is dark and entertaining. Think Supernatural meets dark horror. While these characters are no Sam and Dean, they are still pretty awesome. I’ll definitely be looking further into the series because it's a lot of fun.

Plotastic Scale: 3.75

The art is dark and creepy. It has this weird messy shadow vibe, but after a while (especially on a computer) it can be a bit headache inducing.

Art Scale: 3.75

The story is engrossing so chances are you won’t get a headache because you’ll be flying through the pages.

Cover Thoughts: It’s like the Addams family. That’s what I thought immediately when I saw the cover. I love it.

Thank you, Netgalley and IDW Publishing for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 I know this is such a long post, but have you read any of these or plan to? Let me know down below in the comments!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

May & June Book Haul

Hello, lovely followers! Today I'm bringing you my recent book haul. Hope you enjoy it!

Have you read any of these or plan to? What's you favorite cover out of these books? Let me know down below in the comments!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ten Books That Weren't Worth the Hype

Ever have those books that you are super excited for, but then when you read them they don't give you all the feels? These are ten books that I was super excited for and that left me feeling unsatisfied.

Did any of these books leave you feeling the same way? Let me know down below in the comments what books left you feeling this way!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre

20640318The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre

First in the Deanna Madden trilogy

3.5 stars

Deanna Madden lives inside of apartment 6E. Deanna Madden doesn’t go outside or let anyone inside. Because if she does, she can’t promise they’ll come out alive. Sounds interesting right? Believe me, it is. I didn’t even tell you the rest and I bet this novel already has your interest piqued. Deanna Madden is the only surviving member of her family after her mother went on a killing rampage and destroyed everyone Deanna knew and loved. Deanna, herself, experiences the intense urge to kill. It wouldn’t be so bad if she hadn’t done it before. But she liked doing it and wants to do it again. Deanna supports herself by being sex webstar. She has the oddest clients, but they don’t really bother her. Until one client is too fixated on one little girl and Deanna knows something is wrong. Then there’s Jeremy, the UPS guy who has become obsessed with Deanna. Who is the mysterious girl who’s voice he hears from inside? Why doesn’t she come outside?

I heard about this book from a blog that, sadly no longer exists. I was immediately drawn in by the fact that this girl is a web porn star who has murderous urges. This novel is everything it promises, but it lacks in some departments. This book is definitely, for lack of better words, fucked up. Deanna is sick and reading from her POV left me feeling a little icky. The Girl in 6E is also a very readable novel; it’s hard to putdown. The chapters are short and keep the suspense of Deanna’s life going. Who would’ve thought the life of a hermit could be entertaining? Well a murderous hermit with a porn website is definitely a new twist. This book is weird, but it’s a good weird. It’s the type of weird where you enjoy the wrongness of it. Kind of like a Flynn novel, without the dynamic characters and amazing writing, but with it’ll leave you with the same repulsed feeling.

Honestly, a lot of scenes in The Girl in 6E seem a little too convenient. I can sustain my disbelief, but some of these things would not ever happen. I also think I should mention that besides Deanna and Jeremy’s POV we also get sprinkles of Annie, Annie’s mother, and the child abductor’s POV. It doesn’t hinder how the story flows; in fact I think it strengthens it.

“I don’t know what is sadder, expecting myself to fail or being too scared to dream of success.”

Whimsical Writing Scale: 3.5

The main female character is Deanna. Deanna is a tough character to like. I know I’m not supposed to like her or sympathize with her, but I like Amazing Amy even though she’s batshit. You see, my problem with Deanna is that she contradicts herself. Deanna wants to slay everyone, but she also wants to save this little girl, Annie. Being filled with bloodlust and wanting to save the day makes her the weirdest killer/ heroine I’ve ever come across. Deanna also makes a lot of stupid decisions. Mainly because she’s driven by bloodlust and can’t see past her animalistic rage; she’s no calculating killer, that’s for sure.

“That long, agonized scream was for the life I had taken, both hers and mine. It was a scream for what, in that instant, I had become.”

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3

“I can only hope that I never have such a devastating effect on the world.”
The main male love interest is Jeremy. Could I even call Jeremy a love interest? I’m not sure. The way that Jeremy and Deanna officially meet has to be one of the most entertaining couple meetings I’ve ever read. Basically, Jeremy busted into Deanna’s apartment because she didn’t answer and the door happened to be unlocked. She’s filming her usual videos and then she tries to kill him with his own box cutters. Then they made out while she was naked. It’s a pretty entertaining experience, but also just so out there. Could you imagine explaining that to your kids one day? Jeremy wants to be the hero, but I don’t really know if he’s good at it. He seems just as off his rocker as Deanna to want to be with a girl who exhibits psychopathic tendencies. But it’s true lurveee.

“It is a battle raging in my mind, sex versus murder, and I am cataloging the different weapon possibilities within reach.”

Swoon Worthy Scale: 1.75

The Villain-It would be easy to say that Deanna is the obvious villain in this story, but she isn’t. There are two characters that tangle in a deathly dance with both sick minds. The mind of a killer vs. the mind of a pedophile who has killed plays out in the final mission that leads Deanna to leaving her hobbit hole. Both are characters are sick and calculating.

“This is premeditated. Planned. I am driving along this road with every intent on killing this man.”

Villain Scale: 4.5

I really like Annie; she’s the embodiment of all that Deanna has lost. She represents the siblings she lost as well as her innocence. Annie is such an entertaining character to read from because she only wants to do well and doesn’t seem the horrors of the world yet. I also liked Annie’s parents; they are very broken because of a physical handicap that has them living poorly, but you can tell they love each other and their daughter. It’s warming to see some light in such a dark novel.

Character Scale: 3.5

I have to say that there is one scene in this novel that absolutely horrified me. I’ve never read such a brutal murder before and it was kind of physically sickening. Not because of the murder, but because of the horrifying madness portrayed. The ending wraps up well; a little too well for my tastes. I do plan on reading the rest of the trilogy because it's completely entertaining.

Plotastic Scale: 4.5

Cover Thoughts: The cover kind of has a horror movie poster vibe; which I like. I don’t love the cover, but I do think it’s intriguing.

Thank you, Netgalley and Redhook for giving me the opportunity to review this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read or plan to read The Girl in 6E? Let me know down below in the comments!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Until We Meet Again Cover Reveal, lovey followers. I'm here again! I'm too lazy to actually write a review right now and the opportunity to introduce this cover arose in my inbox. The cover is for Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins, which is being pitched as The Time Traveler's Wife meets Gatsby. That's all you had to say.

They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time.
Cassandra is a headstrong teenager craving drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and new stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger named Lawrence shows up on their private beach claiming it’s his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence’s life—in jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history—or risk losing Lawrence forever.
Renee Collins grew up on a beach in Hawaii. Sadly, she never met anyone from the past on those shores, but she did go on to get a degree in History, which is almost the same.
Social Networking Links:

The cover is beautiful, but wait there's more.  If you retweet this:

Cover Reveal: @ reneecollins_ Young Adult time-slip romance #UntilWeMeetAgain will be released this November!

you could possible win a copy of Until We Meet Again!

 What do you think of the cover? Are you interested in reading Until We Meet Again? Don't forget to retweet for the chance to win a copy!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I have 51 reviews that I need to write and instead of writing one of those I rewrote a review that I've never posted before. I read this back in middle school (six years ago), but I still remember it clearly.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

5 stars

Lia and Cassie were best friends. They did everything together and competed in everything- including who could be the thinnest and prettiest. When Cassie dies, Lia must come to terms with her obsession with weight and her drifting friendship with Cassie. I read Wintergirls back in seventh grade (which seems like a lifetime ago). This book has stuck with me ever since. I remember picking this book after reading Speak and not knowing what to expect. I had never read a sole book dedicated to the horrors of anorexia, but this novel showed me what some girls struggled with high school.

I wouldn’t say I had an eating disorder. It’s kind of a complicated story. In the summer before I went into seventh grade, I began feeling bad all the time. Once school started, it became worse. I was nauseous all the time, I had bad headaches, and I couldn’t eat. My biggest problem in the school cafeteria was the fear of people judging me while eating. I had such anxiety over it that I became physically ill one day during lunch because I didn’t want to eat in front of strangers (not one of my friends had that lunch). It was later discovered that I was sick with an actual problem, but my anxiety while eating in public and away from intermediate family was very strong when I was thirteen and fourteen. It wasn’t until I read this book that I understood that eating was important. I needed it to survive. Food sustains life, but it also keeps your body and mind happy. Once I started eating more again and overcoming my public eating anxiety, I became a happier person. This book helped me understand something I was struggling with. Wintergirls came to me at a time when I didn’t even realize I needed it.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 5

I think the strongest thing about Wintergirls is Lia. She’s a strong character. Her voice is clear and loud. I can feel what she felt while reading. For years, the cupcake scene has stayed with me and for anyone who has read this novel you probably know what I’m talking about. It conveyed the true downfall of a teenage girl struggling with her desire to be thin and her body’s desire to be happy. It’s haunted me for years.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 5

There was NO LOVE INTEREST. When I read this book as a young teen, I probably would’ve considered that a negative, but I think that is a great aspect to this novel. Lia doesn’t need a love interest to rescue her from her disorder. Love can’t always heal your problems. You have to heal yourself before your life can move on and I think Anderson really captured that in this novel.

Swoon Worthy Scale:

I think this novel does such an excellent job of portraying what anorexia is and its effects on a young person. I have yet to read another novel tackle the subject as gracefully and beautifully as Wintergirls. Laurie Halse Anderson has a way of writing this disease is a completely chilling way. It’s like your bones are slowly frosting inside your body and you can’t move. I found it to be absolutely beautiful.

Villain Scale: 5

There were a few secondary characters, but none of them really captured my full attention. Everyone was just a prop in Lia’s life because she saw them as a prop. Usually a writer unintentionally writes secondary characters as props, but I felt that this was intentional. Lia was so disconnected from everyone to the point where all that mattered was her body that she didn’t see anyone else.

Character Scale: 5

If you’re wondering where I am now with my food anxiety, I’m proud to say I no longer have it. I eat all the time. This book in a way saved me when I didn’t know I need help. Laurie Halse Anderson will always be one of my favorite writers for that reason alone. I look forward to rereading this one once I have my own copy.

Plotastic Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: Wintergirls has one of my favorite covers ever. The cover captures the iciness of Lia, her disease, the tone of the novel, and how the reader should feel while reading. I just love it.
Have you read Wintergirls? What are your thoughts on it if you have? Do you plan on reading it? Let me know down below in the comments! 

Short Stories That I Enjoyed in the Last Two Weeks

Hey, everyone! I've been away for a while. I moved into my apartment, started my intern teaching tenth graders at a local high school, d...