Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tor Short Story: Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss

30135832 Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss

4.5 stars

Tor Shorts are becoming very popular and they definitely deserve the merit. I find it absolutely stunning how these talented authors are able to conjure stories so intricately weaved in a small span of pages and paragraphs. I think that's why Tor is one of my favorite publishing houses in general, because they publish amazing quality work. Their short stories are just as spectacular as one of their larger fantasy novels.

Karen's Tor reviews have not lead me astray yet and there are a few that I'm hoping to read soon when I can find the time just because of her reviews. When she gave 5 stars to Red as Blood and White as Bone, I instantly knew that this was a story to make time for and I'm so pleased that I did.

This tale is a simple one. Klara is the lowliest of servant girls in the prince's home of Karhegy. She dreams of fairy tales and the beautiful princess and princes inside. As her dreams become reality she learns that not every story is painted in the simple princess and prince story line. Some stories are much darker and grittier than a young girl could dream.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.5

I just loved the flow of this one. The seamless transitions from childhood dreams, to a fairy tale becoming reality, and leading up to a historical account with fantastical elements weaved in seamlessly made this story rich and imaginative. I will say that it can seem a little predictable, but there is no concrete way of predicting life. While life can be unpredictable it can also show patterns of what may lay ahead. Both of these elements were present and I think that is what I liked so much about this tale.

This story is written beautifully and the overall progression is definitely worth taking fifteen minutes of your day to read. I'm so glad to have taken the time to read this story because I was not disappointed! I can't even imagine how amazing this would've been as a full-length novel.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 4.25

Plotastic Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: I love the illustrations for Tor Shorts. They are always beautifully done. I want a collection of these covers and stories in an omnibus so badly!

This story is available for free reading here!

Did you read this awesome Tor Short for free? If not, I highly suggest it! Let me know down below in the comments if you loved it! 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

April Reading Wrap-Up

Hi! Long time, no see! Well, it hasn't been that long; only about two weeks, but long enough for me to feel about blogging this video so late. I actually posted this a few days before my high school graduation(!!!!) and I didn't have the time to sit at a computer and write up a post. But here I am! Ready to write, review, vlog, and talk about books again. I've had a really busy week since graduating. I've gone to my college orientation and scheduled classes; as well as starting my first job! I've been up to a lot and I'm excited to continue with this blog throughout my college career. I'm sure my posts may be a bit sporadic, but I'm hoping to start my own system of scheduled posts to clear up the random posts.


I read a total of four books in the month of April (which is great because I was really busy!). I'm still coloring in Enchanted Forest and it's one of my favorite pastimes. If you click on the link it will take you to some of the pages I've done so far.

Books I've Read:
38447 168646 1355183 

 Total Books Read in April: 4
Total Pages Read: 944 pages
Average Rating for the month of April: 4.31 stars
5 stars: The Handmaid's Tale and Slaughterhouse-Five
Physical: 3
ARC: 1
Borrowed: 1
Books Reviewed in April: No reviews, but I did post a discussion video- Are YA Dystopias Actually Dystopians?

What books did you read in the month of April? Have you read any of these books? Do you plan to? (If so I SUGGEST SH5 and THT!) Let me know down below in the comments!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Love & Profanity Anthology

23006367Love & Profanity edited by Nick Healy

(2.84 rounded to) 3 stars

This is another short story analogy/ essay collection that had the potential to be great but fell flat. Love & Profanity revolves around author essays on true events in their lives. I haven’t read any essay anthologies before this, but I know that several out there, like Bully, exist and are highly acclaimed in hopes that young readers will pick them up seeing high profile authors’ names on the covers. It’s a good marketing skill, but I don’t think I know almost any of these authors. Almost all of them are names I’ve never heard of before and I think that lessened my connection. I have a theory that if I know what an author writes like and follow them on social media then I’ll be more likely to enjoy reading snippets of their teen lives and experiences. Since I knew almost none of these authors, I’m putting stock into that theory for this anthology (I’ll test that theory with Bully later on).

This collection is huge- 84 stories- if I counted correctly and most of the essays are brief. I think the longest one was ten or twelve pages so it’s hard to judge writing style completely for every story, but I had my trusty notebook and pink pen handy while reading and was able to chronicle all my thoughts while reading. (It’s a good thing I did that since I read this collection literally one year ago.) My formatting will be the essay, rating, brief thoughts, and then some research I compiled on the author.

Three Stories About Water & Vomiting by Adam Rex- 1 star
I personally wasn’t impressed by this story. I considered it to be lame and irrelevant and probably the worst way to start a collection of essays. The first story should be good enough to make me want to keep going, no lackluster enough to make me question continuing with the collection because it makes me question how good the rest will be.
After Teen Years- Besides having a dinosaur last name, Adam doesn’t focus his genre writings to dinosaurs, but illustrious characters such as vampires and Frankenstein. His most famous novel is The True Meaning of Smekday, which is MG science fiction. He also wrote Fat Vampire, which his only story I ever heard of.

Breathless by Heather Sellers- 2 stars
Apparently this essay touches on all the things that I consider to be very unsafe.
After Teen Years-Sellers is predominately a writer of short stories and creative writing non-fiction. Her most famous piece of work is a memoir focusing on her neurological condition that prevents her from remembering peoples’ faces.

Girl Fight by Joey Franklin- 3 stars
Interesting perspective on what a young man thought about the label of “fat” and dating a fat girl.
After Teen Years- Franklin made his debut in 2015 with a collection of essays surrounding what it’s like to be a middle-aged white man with balding hair.

Power Drift by Jon Scieszka- 1 star
What an idiot.
After Teen Years- This man writes a lot of essays, and children’s stories. He has over 144 distinct works on GR- impressive.

Polypropylene by Ali Catt- 4 stars
Pretty sad that this captures how a lot of teen girls treat each other.
After Teen Years-Only featured in Love & Profanity and I can’t find anything about her. Elusive.

Why Is It Wet Here? By Carrie Mesrobian- 3 stars
A pretty funny story about a party and a party failure.
After Teen Years- She’s the writer of Sex & Violence (which I’m excited to read) and that story from last year that everyone hated called Cut Both Ways.

M-E-L-I-S-S-A by Melissa Brandt- 3.5 stars
Essay about a girl who is very unattached from her father.
After Teen Years- Debut author of a novel called Chased by Fame.

I Don’t Believe You by Clint Edwards- 2.5 stars
An embarrassing story about Edwards crapping his pants in high school. Poor soul.
After Teen Years- Debut author of a collection humorous nonfiction piece on parenting and marriage.

Vietnam, Minnesota by Pete Hautman- 2 stars
A story about him befriending a Vietnam vet and going way too fast in a speeding car.
After Teen Years- This guy has written a lot of novels in the YA and MG genre. I checked out his novel Sweetblood once at the library during my vampire phase and never read it.

Island Girls by Kasandra Duthie- 2 stars
The story focuses on Duthie’s teen years on two islands.
After Teen Years- She’s featured in this anthology.

The Ranks of a Million Guys by Kwame Alexander- 1 star
Focuses on Alexander’s experience on becoming the number one tennis player in hopes of impressing the girl he likes.
After Teen Years- A writer of poems, children’s books, and YA fiction in free verse form. This guy won a Newbery!

Confession by Anika Fajardo- 2 stars
She confesses her crush to her best friend and then ends the essay with a sentence about dying at the dance?
After Teen Years- She’s a nonfiction writer.

First Gear by Melodie Heide- 3.5 stars
After recently losing her mother, Heide finds solace in a guy who kind of likes her back.
After Teen Years- According to Amazon, her work has appeared in numerous publications. She writes about transient life.

The First Time I Had Sex, My Mouth Was Numb by Kyra Anderson- 4.5 stars
One of the most awkward and truthful representations of first time sex plus it has a killer title.
After Teen Years- She’s a mother of an autistic child and collaborated on a project about what it’s like.

Ambushed by Andrew Gottlieb- 2.5 stars
The story focuses on Gottlieb’s experiences working on a painting team during the summer as a teenager.
After Teen Years- He’s a writer of reviews, poems, essays, and memoirs.

A Ghost in the Mall by Natalie Singer -4 stars
A reflection of Singer going to the mall after school and not being able to buy anything due to her poor family life and being blessed with an okay-face; a very touching story.
After Teen Years- Her author profile is to funny to not just copy and paste: “Natalie Singer was born and half-raised in Montreal, Canada, before being uprooted and moved―at age 16―to the mythical, ice-cream-colored land of California, where she had to finish raising herself. There, she discovered burritos, tried to become cool on the streets of San Francisco, and made out with lots of frogs before she finally found a prince. She's now a writer in Seattle.”

A Most Dangerous Game by Alexis Wiggins- 5 stars
My favorite essay of the collection! Essay focusing on the perils of being a young woman and has a chilling scene where her co-worker says that someday he’ll rape someone and it could be Wiggins.
“It wasn’t men who were hunted.”
After Teen Years- She’s been writing since she was little, but has yet to publish a novel. I think this is her first time being published in a book!

The Causeway by Margaret MacInnis- 3 stars
Focuses on when Margaret is eight-years-old and sees her father not being able to do the things he used to because of age.
After Teen Years- She has a lot of essays published in review publications and that’s cool.

Orchard by Kim Lozano- 2.5 stars
Essay about the time she offers a place to stay for a young lady who seems to be on the run.
After Teen Years- She’s an editor of a literary magazine and teaches creative writing. Her poetry has been published.

Weightless by Steve Brezenoff- 2 stars
Brezenoff was a wallflower who attended a party.
After Teen Years- This is the only author who I knew by name for sure because I used to want to read his book The Absolute Value of-1.

After the Party by Geoff Herbach- 1 star
I honestly have no clue what even happened in this essay.
After Teen Years- He has a lot of published YA novels and his most popular is the title Stupid Fast.

On the Third Day by Tom Moran- 2.5 stars
Dirty fighting!
After Teen Years- Has a humorous novel called Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers.

How to Succeed by Actually Trying by Dayna Evans- 3 stars
Discusses Evans meeting full potential as an already smart student and pushing herself.
After Teen Years- She’s been published in two essay collections.

Ten Years Ago by Sarah Beth Childers- 3.5 stars
A deep essay focuses on ten years ago from Childer’s perspective and then twenty years as time goes by.
After Teen Years- Write short stories and has been featured in two YA ones and her own essay collection.

End of the Half by Patrick Hueller- 1 star
Focuses on Hueller’s coach getting mad at his failure of a basketball team.
After Teen Years- He has a few published indie works.

Suspended by Kyle Minor- 1.5 stars
When Minor finally got rid of one bully he gets cornered by his brother.
After Teen Years- He has several short stories and novellas published into personal collections.

Girl/Thing by Anna Vodicka- 3.5 stars
The story focuses on Vodicka’s experience as a babysitter and being taken advantage of by the father.
After Teen Years- It says in her profile she’s doesn’t miss babysitting. It’s funny, but it’s not because of the incident she went through.

Saying Goodbye to Anna by Jackie Buckle- 5 stars
I just realized the author above the before story is named Anna; did they do that on purpose?
Another absolute favorite about “Anna” or anorexia and it was absolutely harrowing and beautiful.
After Teen Years- She wrote something called Half My Facebook Friends are Ferrets and lol.

The Catch by Melissa Cistaro- 1.5 stars
The mother finds beauty in fish guts? My notes are so weird. LOL
After Teen Years- Cistaro is the writer of Pieces of My Mother: A Memoir.

The World is in a Stump by Will Weaver- 2 stars
Weaver’s experiences hunting by himself for the first time.
After Teen Years- He has a lot of books published and his prominent is Memory Boy.

Mosquito Man by Da Chen- 2.5 stars
Chronicles Chen’s love for the blind man’s stories in his village and how he became his own storyteller.
After Teen Years- He has several published works and his most popular novel is Color of the Mountain.

Confessions of a Pretend Boyfriend by Aaron Brown- 3 stars
As a freshman Brown was invited to prom only to be replaced by an army buff once he arrived.
After Teen Years- Brown has many published works and his most well-known is The Poker Face of Wall Street.

Dating Magic by Laurie Edwards- 3.5 stars
A cute story about Edwards trying to get a date for friends and coincidentally ended up meeting a cute guy herself.
After Teen Years- She is a nonfiction author who focuses on mental illnesses.

Smiling Joe by Joseph Bruchac- 3 stars
Joe smiles throughout everything; even when breaking a tooth.
After Teen Years- He has multiple published works, and I mean multiple as in 177!

Warrior by Trisha Speed Shaskan- 2.5 stars
Essay focuses on her skater girl years.
After Teen Years- She teaches creative writing to both children and adults.

Solo by Esther Porter- 2.5 stars
Essay focuses on Porter overcoming her fear of her solo choir performance in high school.
After Teen Years- She’s the author of multiple children’s books.

Singing Along by Kara Balcerzak- 3 stars
Two unlikely girls build a friendship over a band and experience seeing them live.
After Teen Years- The author of children’s books and essays.

Hard to Swallow by Jenna Scarbroguh- 2.5 stars
In her freshman year of college, Jenna finds a lump in her breast that could be cancerous. I just couldn’t connect to this one.
After Teen Years- She is currently attending college and I think that this is a very recent diagnosis.

Best Friends by Rachel Hanel- 4 stars
Representation of how one friend symbolizes the good part of life no matter how little time is spent together.
After Teen Years- She’s the writer of several interactive history novels and that sounds really cool!

Big Red by Jessica Gunderson- 3 stars
Story focuses on what it’s like to take the ACT test the morning after being drugged at a party.
After Teen Years- She writes children’s fiction predominately focusing on black people in history.

The Later Days of Jean by Rebecca Stranborough- 3 stars
A brief look into what dealing with a grandma who has passed away is like.
After Teen Years- She writes novels focuses on the world’s greatest architectural sites.

All Treasures by Patti Kim- 2 stars
Kim lies about her life throughout high school because she is ashamed her low financial background.
After Teen Years- She has two published works.

Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self by Alison McGhee- 5 stars
Emotional letter about being free when you are older and I just really connected to this.
After Teen Years- She’s a NYT #1 Bestselling Author!

There were some good ones in here, but also some duds. If you are interested in picking this up I definitely recommend checking it out from the library.

Cover Thoughts: This book has three different covers. The one I was accepted for on NG. The one that popped up on my galley copy and then the rereleased cover. I like the newest one best.

Thank you, Netgalley and Switch Press for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read Love & Profanity? What's your favorite anthology of true life essays? Let me know down below in the comments!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Movies I've Recently Watched

I'm not much of a movie buff, but recently (the last three months) I've really become a fan of movies. There are so many great movies that I've come across recently and feel the need to gush about!

10 Things I Hate About You
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I love the comedy, the romance, the character growth, and Heather Ledger. Plus Kat's feminist attitude is my spirit animal at school. I've seen this about five times now and I still love it.

The Breakfast Club 
I think this may be my favorite movie. Don't get me wrong Harry Potter films are the best, but this movie is the epitome of a great film. It's funny, enduring, has social commentary, and consists of some of the greatest actors of the 20th century. I've seen this movie about thirty times and can quote multiple scenes from heart. Every time I watch this I discover something new and it never gets old. The themes of this film are MY FAVORITE.

My first time watching Clueless was in March and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I heard that this was a loose adaptation of Emma by Jane Austen and after reading the graphic novel adaptation of the story I can definitely see the similarities. It's a great comedy and I liked the characters, but the ending was just wrapped too smoothly and felt rushed.

Erin Brockovich
 I watched this on AMC one day and I had been wanting to see this movie for sometime after seeing it on a feminist movie list and watching the trailer. This movie is great! It follows an unemployed single mother who uses her wits and persistence to land a job at a law firm and uncovers a corrupt company endangering the lives of a small town's water supply. It's based off of a true story and it is so funny and inspiring. Plus Julia Roberts is an amazing actress.

I saw this about a month after it came out when it was still showing in theaters. I remember how interested I was in this movie 1) because anti-hero and 2) because a movie guy I like loved it. I am not a fan of superhero movies. The only superhero I like is Batman and that's because he's good intentions are blurred by ambiguity. Gotham is an evil town and Batman is just as corrupted as the rest. I love that kind of shit. Thor, Spiderman, Iron Man, The Avengers, The Hulk, etc. I've seen the movies or bits and pieces of them, but don't actually like any of them. Deadpool was funny, explicit, and didn't give two fucks about offending anyone. I loved it.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
I really like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and I was excited to see this one. My mom and I really enjoyed this one. The humor was great and the story resonated with us because I'm going off to college and living away from home. It was a cute film and I really enjoyed it for what it was worth.

The Babadook
I watched this with one of my best friends who loves horror movies. Chris Stuckmann really loves it and so does Katie from ChapterStackss. They both really recommended during the Halloween time and I have been wanting to see the movie since. The film follows a mother and a son. The little boy was born the same day his father died and at seven years old he is the anti-christ (not literally). His mother is at his wits end and when she reads to him one night she comes across the story of The Babadook and it is creepy. This film had a great plot and the ambiguity of the monster was fantastic. The monster being depression and it living in the basement represents how depression is always there, but sometimes not overwhelming was so amazing. I'm a huge fan of this movie and definitely recommend it for psychological horror fans.

I Am Legend
I have seen bits and pieces of this novel, but haven't seen it's ending or beginning. I have finally remedied that and must say it's a good film. I do disagree with the action-packed ending and wish that it would've been closer to the novels ending, but I know that the alternate ending for it exists. So that gives me so comfort. Also Will Smith quoting Shrek as a way of expressing his feelings to people is A+.
The Matrix
To be honest, I've never really felt the desire to watch this movie until recently when browsing through YouTube. It was highly recommended and I know that people love this film and AMC struck again with knowing what movies I wanted to see the most. I LOVED this film. It starts out in the most uninteresting way and I thought it would be another movie I wouldn't finish, but then Morpheus is introduced and he reveals what the Matrix is and  OMGOMGOMG. The best fricken' plot ever to be thought of '90s sci-fi films is created. This film is totally badass and captivating. SO COOL.

Midnight in Paris
My English teacher highly recommended this to me and I absolutely adore it. There's the Fitzgeralds, Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, Picaso, and so many great artists. Plus Kathy Bates. This movie is so quotable and beautiful. It's a great film. 

Have you seen of these movies? What are your thoughts on them? Have any recommendations for me? Let me know down below in the comments!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Great Netgalley ARC Purge

Netgalley is a beautiful place, but it is also a labyrinth of commitment. I, like so many other reviewers and bloggers, have a tendency to one-click the request button. I love the accessibility of NG. I think it's a great feature and it really helps smaller bloggers (like myself and others) have the opportunity to ask publishers for books without having to go through e-mail. Confession:  I still have yet to e-mail a publisher and specifically request a novel. I'm just too...uncertain of that kind of commitment. What if I don't like the book? I always feel guilty when that happens. Other great bloggers like Readers in Wonderland and plenty of other blogs have discussed how to improve NG ratios and other thoughts on ARCs. I love reading those posts, although I sometimes don't read them all fully. Oops.

The Purge: I really thought long and hard about Netgalley and the backlog of ARCs I have. I don't want to admit my ratio (it's far too embarrassing because I'm lazy and busy when it comes to reviewing diligently), but I realized having a low ratio isn't the thing that bothers me. I'm bothered by the amount of books waiting on my shelf or clogging up my Kindle that I have no intention of reading because they are SO FAR away from my usual tastes. I had the tendency to just click away on everything after I got the hang of things on NG and I really regret it.

The Solution: I'm slowly purging my shelves. I mean slowly, but surely and it's a relief. There were so many books that I didn't feel the desire to read anymore. I don't want to feel overwhelmed and discouraged looking at my NG shelves and while I know this process takes time I don't mind spending my time this way.

A Long Way to Go: I have a lot of books to go through. I've been reading reviews for books that I'm not 100% sold on if they have low ratings on GR. I also reread the summary a few times and really ask myself to be truthful. It is helping so much in eliminating clutter.

How I Use NG Now: I love NG and I think it's one of the best sites out there. It's accessible, free, and a great platform for meeting publishers. I only request books that 1) I'm super excited for and know I will read and enjoy (hopefully) 2) books that synopsis really grab my attention and cause me to squeal. Being pickier about what I'm requesting isn't a bad thing. It's okay to not want every single book available. Less is best because that means you won't be overwhelmed by what is waiting to be read. 

How many books have I purged? 10 so far, which doesn't seem like a lot, but this is a huge step. Purging isn't easy and I want to take my time. I feel like if I get rid of everything without contemplating my thoughts then I could regret it later.

What are your thoughts on NG purges? Have you participated in them? What do you consider to be too many books on your backlist? Let me know down below in the comments!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Alice in Wonderland- A Graphic Novel & A Novel

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

3.75 stars

As a young girl the story of Alice falling down a rabbit hole and uncovering a world of fantastical oddities and peculiar wonders has always fascinated me. The animated Disney feature remains to be one of my favorite films. It's so wonderful and it is one of those nostalgic memories that brings me joy plus the songs are catchy and fun to sing. I'm sad to say that while I did really enjoy this story I don't love it. Carroll's writing style and storytelling doesn't capture my attention or make me invested in the story. There are actually quite a few scenes from the story that I've forgotten about until I reread a graphic adaptation because they aren't very impressionable moments. But Carroll does have a way of weaving stories otherwise he wouldn't be such a staple in literature and media culture.

"Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really possible."

This classic is odd and unconventional. I think that's what so appealing about it. There is no rhyme or reason to Wonderland. It's a moral with no real morals, much like the Duchess, who is obsessed with branding everything to have a moral (much like my Western Civ. teacher) and isn't able to see what's around her. Morals in literature are something we are taught to look for and to be honest I love morals and themes, but there isn't a concrete one in Alice's story because being innocent, imaginative, and a child doesn't mean labeling life with meaning. Why do kids dream big when they are playing or dreaming? Because that's the beauty of childhood. It's full of endless possibilities. The real theme of Wonderland- stay imaginative and in childhood because once you become a grown up there isn't a Wonderland to escape into anymore.

"I can't explain myself, because I'm not myself, you see."

Whimsical Writing Scale: 3

Alice is imaginative and curious by nature. She finds herself in quite a few predicaments in real life and even more in Wonderland. She wants a world where everything is nonsense, but once she experiences nonsense she can't make sense of it because she is logical in a different sense. Even as I type that sentence I feel as confused as Alice did most of the story. I think that's what draws people to Alice- her confusion and uncertainty in a new world. Whether you are young or old I'm sure at some point a new setting or world made you feel unbalanced and unsure and that's the appeal of Alice. She's relatable in the simplest of ways.

"She generally gave herself very good advice (though she seldom followed it)."

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 4

The characters she encounters in Wonderland are baffling. There's famous ones like the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat, and the Red Queen, but there are many not as well-known that really take the cake in weird. All of these characters are as infuriating as they are enduring. It's strange and I still don't know how I feel about most of them.

"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."

Character Scale: 3.5

This story is a lasting one because it's timeless. It's a story that will be adapted and retold, read to kids at bedtime, and discussed in classes for a long time. While this story isn't as amazing as I hoped when going into it, I still enjoy it and everything it stands for.

Plotastic Scale: 4.25

Cover Thoughts: My cover is dreadfully boring. I do plan to collect some prettier editions in the future though. Until then I feel a sentimental attachment to my simple little Collins Classic edition.

Complete Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Leah Moore, John Reppion, & Erica Awano
2.5 stars

I do enjoy the tale of Alice in Wonderland. The Disney movie was one of my favorite growing up. It was so fantastic and far out there with all the talk of unbirthdays, singing flowers, oyster eating, and maniacal laughter. I've always been heavily influenced by the tale. I have only read Alice in Wonderland so Through the Looking Glass is a new tale for me, one I think that I'd prefer to have read physically without illustrations.

I liked the adaptation and the ideas behind a good bit of art work, but I also didn't like the art work or the coloring. It looked faded out and none if it was really captivating. I didn't find that this graphic novel was a completely astonishing adaptation. The story of Alice is so whimsical and the artwork in this edition felt washed out and unimaginative in comparison.

Art Scale: 2
I do like both Alice stories and it was really interesting reading Through the Looking Glass for the first time. I'm just not in love with the stories. I think they are fun and cute, but they aren't stories that I find particularly lasting. To be honest, if it wasn't for the Disney films nothing about Alice would be ingrained in my mind except the beginning with the rabbit and falling down a hole.

Plotastic Scale: 3

Cover Thoughts: It's a cute cover, but again nothing impressionable about the art.

Thank you, Netgalley and Dynamite Entertainment for providing me with a copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review.

What do you think of Alice in Wonderland? Is it an absolute favorite or a head scratcher for you? Let me know down below in the comments.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

I Have A Book Haul! YAY!

I've been collecting books again and waiting to film a video until I felt like I had enough to talk about. I bought a rad journal, a Twilight Zone DVD, and a Hermione Funko Pop!! 

Books Featured: 
109580 9285100 11143342 
10644930 18634726 18710739 
 19286535 10967 6528962 9592 

What books have you gotten recently? Have you read any of these books? Let me know down below in the comments!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

My Journey with Hemingway Part 1

I don't have any pretty pictures to chronicle this journey currently, but this is only the beginning to a long journey.

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

4.25 stars (Subject to change as I make progress)

So I haven't read all the short stories in here, but I plan to someday and as time goes on I'll hopefully read the whole collection. For now I'll mark this as a read novel and chronicle my journey through Hemingway as I read.

I actually haven't been intrigued by Hemingway like I am by some classic writers. My English teacher recommended a few of the short stories in this collection to me and I'm glad that I've finally been exposed to Hemingway on my own volition. It's harder to enjoy a writer who is forced upon me in school unless I'm really intrigued by the premise or ideas of the author. Then again I was excited to read The Road and that was a huge dud so excitement doesn't always lead to satisfaction in reading. Hemingway is a great writer. He's simple, but not too simple. There's a context behind his words and he doesn't invent symbols for the sake of doing so (I'm looking at you, Nathaniel Hawthorne). I can definitely see why he is considered to be one of America's greatest writers.
"Isn't love any fun?

The End of Something
3.5 stars
This story follows Nick and Marjorie briefly as they fish. The scenery and tension of this trip showcases that their relationship is nearing its end. Nick is the kind of who ends his relationship because Marjorie "knows everything" because "he taught her everything" and while that's a dick thing to say and think it's also fitting for the story. I also really enjoy the way I felt while reading. I felt I was entering the end of something that I had no knowledge of prior and I was only witnessing the end and the possibility of and a new beginning. Simple and it's only four pages, but there's a lot to take away.

 "Then I'll do it. Because I don't care about me."
Hills Like White Elephants
5 stars
This is just fantastic. I was warned prior that this caused a lot of controversy, but I immediately understood where this story was going with that certain word (view spoiler). It's a great look into a couple who want to blame a their failures as a joint partnership on an external force (or internal depending on how you look at things). I just really loved something about this psychologically and it really proved to me that Hemingway is a fantastic writer.

"It was all nothing and a man was nothing too."
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
4 stars
An old man enjoys the comfort of a cafe. He's an alcoholic who recently tried to kill himself and the waiter who is married proceeds to be a huge douchecanoe. The other waiter understands. It's an interesting story, but I'm not particularly captured by the story itself. The writing though is fantastic.

I myself did not want to sleep because I had been living for a long time with the knowledge that if I ever shut my eyes in the dark and let myself go, my soul would go out of my body."
Now I Lay Me
4.25 stars
This is an intense look in the psyche of men at war. The narrator of this story is in a tent with another men and they both can't sleep. The narrator, particularly, can't sleep because he feels that his soul will instantly leave his body once in a deep sleep. It's a really dark story and it's all very unclear to the circumstances. It's more speculative than stated that Nick (the one from previous stories) is wounded and in a recovery tent of sorts. Nick still isn't married and I think that this is hilarious. *See story above The End of Something*

As of early April 2016 I have only read four Hemingway stories and I'm pretty proud of that. More to come...

Thoughts So Far: I feel a connection to Hemingway. There's something about how he paints humanity and uses the atmosphere around him that really creates this beautiful picture and I'm really excited to buy this collection and continue on into this great journey.

What are your thoughts on Hemingway if you have read him? Are you interested in reading him? If so or if not I recommend just checking out a short story (Hills Like White Elephants is a good place to start). Let me know down below in the comments your thoughts!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 I've been bad at writing reviews the last past year on my blog. My reviews come sporadically and I'm behind at around 100 reviews on my to-review shelf on Goodreads. Inspiration struck this weekend (on my weekend to prepare for university finals... probably not smart) and here is a novel that I've read almost two years ago. I know I'm seriously behind, but I love this novel and my obsession has actually expanded since discovering this infamous mindfuck of a novel. Prepare for brief spoilers, gushing, philosophy on Nick & Amy's fucked up relationship, and why I'm obsessed with obsession. Also I've reformatted my blog and review method a little bit. Thoughts?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

5 stars

"Because everyone loves the Dead Girl."

Doesn’t everyone know what Gone Girl is about by now? Surprisingly, I’ve introduced this book and movie to about ten people who had never heard of it before. They now hate me because it royally fucked them up. Which is the point right?

There’s just something about Gone Girl. I don’t know what it is, but it’s one of those novels that instantly draws you in, but starts to taper off. I found that while reading this novel I was sucked in and then let go for a brief period of time and then by page 50 when the writing felt slow I was captured and never let go from this whirlwind psychological thriller. The slow pacing after the dark introduction doesn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story. In fact, I think that’s why it was so easy to become enthralled once the mystery and questions started to unfold and where pushed into my face. I remember I came up with so many theories about what actually happened to Amy just because I didn’t want to be spot on the mark about the famous “TWIST”. Guess what, by the point when I read the novel it wasn’t hard to figure out what the twist could possibly be. Yet, there were still shocking moments in this that I absolutely loved and adored. This book is sick, twisted, and perverted. It’s everything I don’t want in a romantic relationship and everything that I want to witness unfolds between two increasingly neurotic narcissists. They are narcissists, which is something I don’t think I’ve come across them labeled as, but I will label them as such because they are so wrapped up in perceptions that they strove to be other people to satisfy some weird desire to gain affection.

“I’m a big fan of the lie of omission.”

I love Flynn’s writing style. She’s my go to writer for the fucked up, twisted, and psychologically stunted American woman and in this case man. She has taken it up several notches from her previous novels by taking on dual perspectives of a couple that matches each other in step with their own insanely demented personalities and all the while being the mirror image of each other. That’s why Amy and Nick Dunne are perfect for each other because they are mirror personalities. Each equally fucked up and stunted by a childhood that shaped them into unstable individuals living seemingly perfect lives. Flynn is a master of writer twisted leads, but she’s gone above and beyond by writing two sides of the same coin.

Whimsical Writer Scale: 5

Ever watched magnets repel each other if you force the same sides together? That’s what it’s like watching Amy and Nick. Not one word said in this novel is a true word because everything said has a hidden meaning, a deeper hate wrapped around a phrase. Even when these two are spewing the words, “I hate you” I never believed it. They are so off-balance from the real world that they have this weird idea of love that they cloak with the word hate. It’s debatable whether or not they love each other, but I think they are obsessed with one another. It’s unhealthy and I love it. Also the treasure hunt anniversary is cute. So I mean, they weren’t always ready to butcher each other.

The thing about Ben and Amy is that I hate them both. I hate them so much that I love them. They are one of my favorite literary couples and not because I aspire to be them, but because they always kept me on my toes waiting to find out what sick level they would stoop to in hopes of smearing the other person. It’s ridiculous and unbelievable, but I know that there are Nicks and Amys in the world. Unreliable narrators are my bread and butter and I made a French Croissant with the amount of psychological inadequacies Flynn provides.

Villain Scale: Broke My Scale

Kick-ButtPsycho Heroine Scale: 5
Swoon Worthy Douchebag Scale: 5

I obviously love this novel. I think it’s fantastic and all people should read Flynn because she’s as twisted as her characters and her readers. I mean I must be crazy to love reading about this couple as much as I did.

Plotastic Scale: 5

Book to Movie Adaptation
: I recommend checking out the movie for this and usually I don’t equate the movies to books in reviews (unless they are worth mentioning) and in this case it is worth mentioning. I just don’t advice eating while watching with bottles going up crevices and blood being spattered everywhere, your appetite may go down the drain. Unless you are like me and eat while watching Final Destination then bon appetite. -5

Cover Thoughts: I love this cover. It’s not even a cover. It’s just faded hair on the spine that reaches out. It’s fantastic.

What are your thoughts on Gone Girl? Are you a fan of the movie, book, or both? What do you think my incorporation of pictures? I want to also add in more special aspects of the novel like deckled edges and maps. 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...